Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis

Seattle City Light... a twist!

Seattle City Light provides my electricity. The first 20 years I lived here, they were fine. Better than fine. I never lost power and it was cheap. I had moved up here in 1992 from northern California. My electric bill there was $150. When I got here and called Seattle City Light to get service, I asked for budget billing (same amount every month) and the lady was very apologetic that it was going to be so high for the first year. $13. I shit you not. Every month. $13.

It has gone up and up and up and, to be fair, I have a lot more things to plug in. (However, many of those are now very much more efficient - I'm looking at you LED potlights!)

In the last 5 or so years, they have had a number of really annoying planned power outages. They are currently being very pissy with our condo home owners association over some light poles that they installed too close to our building.

But today when I got a letter from them in the snail mail, that my $74 monthly budget bill would be raised to $176 starting next month, I was instantly interested in hearing how they were going to explain that piece of shit. The idea of calling them was not appealing but there was no other way. Their online billing is a piece of 1970s software with no connection to email or messaging of any kind. So I got a drink and plugged in my earbuds and sat down for a long, involved, frustrating convo.

They did give me a number for budget billing so I started there. 2 rings. "Seattle City Light, this is Andy." I seriously paused to make sure it wasn't a recording. But it was really Andy.

And he was great. Turns out their system thought I was getting billed twice a month instead of once a month and fucked up the formula. He looked at my year and commented on how unusually high my summer use is and how unusually low my winter use is. I explained that it wasn't unusual at all. I have an air conditioner that I run in the Summer and I live in a condo so steal heat from my neighbors and don't run any myself. He allowed as how that was fiscally smart. "Winter heat is way more expensive than Summer cooling."

He said that the new rate should be $88 but he could make it $84 if I wanted. I said nope. $88 was fine. He said that if, for any reason, it does not come through as $88 next bill to call back and "Ask for Andy." I will!!

So many of my interactions with companies are frustrating. It's such a rush when one isn't!
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