Monday, March 5, 2012

My fight with PGW

Update:  2 weeks before trial, a PGW rep called me and offered to settle this case for a refund of the weather normalization and a recalculation of 1.5 years of invoices; for which I readily agreed.  

At the bakery on Woodland Ave last May I got a "Weather Normalization Adjustment" charge added to my PGW bill for $99.48; then in June I got another for $349.81. What the heck is a Weather Normalization Adjustment charge, I wondered. I called and asked and they said one typically gets this in the "heating" months for a few dollars here or there. But $450 in two months is unheard of. And it was not even in the heating months.

So I appealed the charge with PGW. After 3-4 months of no response, they let me know my appeal was denied. Why? Because they calculated it right. Nobody could tell me how "they" calculate such a charge but I should rest assured, it's correct. But, they said, appeal to the public utility commission. So I did.

The PUC took the case. They did nothing but take PGW's word that the charges were calculated right. I asked the PUC person handling the case and he said he didn't know how they calculate it either but since PGW says its right, it's right. But he also added that it looked very unreasonable. PUC denied my appeal. But, PUC said, you can file a formal complaint with the PUC administrative judge.

So I issued a formal complaint. Now a Lawyer at PGW is involved. Lawyers paralegal sends me a letter asked me to call her to set up a call to talk settlement and also encloses a formal answer to my formal complaint. I called 4 times and left a voice message with no response; so I'm assuming the request for settlement talks is just a boilerplate letter that nobody at PGW reads or knows about.

In the Answer, PGW says they mistakenly listed me as a "residential" customer for over a year and has since switched me to a "commercial" account; as if this perhaps might explain the problem or insinuate I am some sort of crook for their mistake in listing me as a resident. The problem is the commercial designation means my rates are lower as they have been since they switched me; so that means they were overcharging me for well over a year.

So now I am amending my petition to ask for the difference back for all those months I overpaid; so I am "amending" the petition. So here I am.

Is anybody at PGW there? Hello!!

Can somebody please look into this and tell me something other than "the WNA charge was correct?" Maybe just look into the whole picture here and realize you made a mistake somewhere.

I hate to waste resources (mine and PGW's) litigating this over such a relatively small amount of money. But I can't just let PGW walk all over me....can I?

What should I do?


Naomi Segal said...

Michael don't give up, but get help. Try Jannie Blackwell's office. It's a city agency. If you can't get a response from them then e-mail me and I'll dig up some other contacts. What a hassle! -- Naomi

Gavriel said...

Hey Michael,

I find this story fascination; will our hero be able to find the human element within this juggernaut of a bureaucracy? I can't wait to find out. Don't stop now!

Paty said...

Michael! I found your blog as I conducted a search for help fighting our own PGW bill! We are in the same position but received a bill for $5THOUSAND DOLLARS! We disputed it with PGW and they said that we have been underbilled for 4 years. Oddly enough our current bill is exactly the same? We have filed a formal complaint with the PUC and are hoping/praying that we find some support. Unfortunately, the lady we spoke to seems to think we may have to pay the "negotiated price" of $2thousand :( Before this bill we had a credit of $500+ (go figure we are those kind of people that pay utility bills way in advance because you just never know). How are you coming along? By the way, the PA consumer advocate office said they don't represent individuals just "consumers overall"? Sigh. It seems like responsible, on-time, paying citizens do not deserve a break, or just fair treatment.

Challahman said...

Sorry for all the troubles with pgw. They don't like to go to court but won't focus on settling until a week of two before trial. Thus was my experience. Puc is useless; they just rubber stamp what pgw says but the do help with getting your appeal to a judge.