Utility Shutoff: Update

The purpose of this post is to help people better understand some of the struggles that families like mine face on a daily basis. It’s meant to educate and should not be taken as panhandling.

Anyone is welcomed to use the donation button, anytime. However, nothing is ever expected and my only purpose in sharing things like this it to provide insight and perspective. Nothing more and nothing less.

As a special needs family, not only do we face the challenges associated with raising children with special needs but we also have to balance the same things that everyone else does, all at the same time. There’s no slow setting that let’s a catch up or catch our breath. The world doesn’t slow down and so we have to do the best we can in a situation that many people couldn’t even imagine.

Sharing this kind of thing is not always easy and honestly embarrassing. While I know that I’m doing everything possible, at the same time I know it’s not enough. My hope is that by sharing our experience, people can have a better understanding and be less prone to make snap judgements about others in a similar situation.

The sorta good news

So I have some potentially good news. I was finally able to speak with a supervisor at Dominion East Ohio Gas yesterday. They have acknowledged that the situation was their fault because I was given the wrong information a few weeks ago.

Let me catch you up.

We had our natural gas shut off about a month ago and it was off for a few days. Basically this leaves us without a stove or water heater. The furnace is a nonissue at the moment because of the ungodly heat.

It’s no secret that we are struggling and so money, time and energy are scarcities in our household.

I called several times to confirm the amount that would have to be paid in order to get things turned back on and our account in good standing. I was quoted $231 by each person I spoke with. I wanted to hear this from several different representatives because that number was much lower than what I thought it was and sometimes you can get the wrong information from someone. I wanted to be sure that the amount was correct because I couldn’t afford to dump the $231 into the gas bill unless it was going to be enough to turn it back on.

As a special needs family, this was one of those tougher situations because while we need the gas, getting it turned back on would take everything we had at the time and set us back in other areas.

What I didn’t want to happen was for us to pay the $231 and have that end up not being enough to fix everything.

I paid the money because I was convinced that it was an accurate number and I had heard the same exact thing from several representatives. It worked and our gas was turned on and things were good for about two weeks.

Unfortunately, about two weeks ago now, Dominion came back out and shut us off again. This time the bill was over $500 and I was left without natural gas and in a state of confusion.

The guy that shut us off felt so bad because he told us that this wasn’t right.

I spoke to several representatives, all saying the same thing. However, I was unable to speak with a supervisor because none were available and those scheduled to call me back, never did.

We’ve been making do the best we can.

Lizze and I have been doing the cold shower thing and the boys take a bath at their grandparents. Cooking sucks, as does washing dishes but it could be worse and we simply have too much going on to be slowed down by this.

Yesterday, I was able to finally speak with a supervisor. She said that the account is documented, verifying everything that I was saying. Unfortunately, I was miss quoted by everyone that I had spoken to. She said that the misquote is even documented as well.

She apologized and said that we could try and work something out because this wasn’t my fault.

Essentially, she cut the bill down to $261 and reset my account so that we could use a medical certificate to give us time to get back on our feet.
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Unfortunately, we have to pay the $261 before the medical certificate will get the gas turned back on. Apparently we only have 21 days from the date of disconnect to get a medical certificate. That means we basically have to have this paid and the certificate approved before July 3rd.

I explained that we don’t have that right now and so she gave me a list of local agencies that might be able to help. The list she gave me contains agencies that I haven’t heard of and so I’m hoping that they will be able to help us move forward. Most of the agencies that I’m aware of, haven’t been able to help because they are tapped out due to high demand.

Hopefully these will be able to help us to move forward.

If they pan out, I’ll be sure to add them to my list of local resources so that any of you that are local can seek help if needed.

This will be a big relief to get this squared away and one less thing to worry about.

For the record, I’m putting this in the win column because before the number was much, much higher. Now it’s looking like there’s a chance we can pull this off. I have a bit more hope than I did prior and anytime I have hope, I consider that a win.

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upliftingfam

Have you tried contacting Catholic Charities or some local churches in your area?  There are churches out there that have funds for emergency situations just like this.

Sylvatine

We ran out of gas before we could pay our bill to get more.  Luckily we only need it for hot water.  We had a solar camping shower that we use.  We got it from Walmart for about 10$  It’s better than cold showers!  Wish I could help with $  but we’re kind of in he same boat.  I still owe them $250

lostandtired

Sylvatine No worries.  🙂  The whole point was to simply help educate those out there that can’t relate.  🙂

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