Life’s Lessons Learned

utility company

So I was in kind of a little bit of a rage this morning. I’ve been writing this post throughout the day, so I’ve calmed down a little and have had a little time to reflect on what just happened. Basically, there are a couple of lessons I learned about renting in the past couple of days. In the past, we’ve always had good management, so we’ve never needed to ask certain types of questions. This all started when our electricity was shut off yesterday. So, for your enjoyment…

Lesson #1: When you’re renting, make sure they make it clear how the utility transition is going to go.

Last night as I was about to get off work, I got a call from my wife. It went like this:

“Hey, was the power out when you left for work this morning?”


“Well it’s out now.”

I had her go to the circuit box to see if a breaker needed to be switched back on. Nothing. I had her call the property management company and apparently if there’s any type of emergency that happens after 5:00 p.m., you’re screwed. Then I called the landlord. He told me that he had the electric company keep it in his name until the 1st and that the property management company was supposed to tell us to call them and switch it over to our name.

Now, I wasn’t there when all the paperwork was filled out. My wife brought it home for me to sign and I just dropped it off the next morning before work, so I have no idea what they told my wife, but I do know two things: they told her that as soon as we get our water bill, we should bring it in so they can pro-rate it, and they did not make it clear that we needed to switch the electric bill over to our name. So whatever way they said it was confusing or not correct.

I spent the next hour getting all our stuff out of the fridge and freezer and getting stuff together to stay overnight at the in-laws. I can’t tell you how exciting that was for everyone involved…(We’re back!) The only thing I forgot was the ice maker in the freezer, which is now slowly melting and leaking out onto the hardwood floor while I’m at work. Classic.

Lesson #2: Whenever you work with a utility company, be prepared to get fleeced.

The problem with utility companies is that there isn’t much competition, especially if you live in a rural area like we do. That means that they do whatever they want and they know you aren’t going to leave because the only other option you have is to become Amish.

So when I finally got away from work for a few minutes to call the electric company, I told the lady what happened and said we needed to get it turned on ASAP. She told me I needed to fill out an application and email it to them and that there would be a $235 fee. I’m pretty sure our company in Utah only charged us $75, so I was not happy about that. She then told me that the fee includes a $180 deposit that can be waived if you have something from a previous utility company showing you have good payment skillz. That only works, though, if you’ve had the service for the last 12 months. And since we’ve been living with the in-laws, we haven’t been officially billed for utilities for 9 months. I asked her if there’s any way to get around that, because we have really, really ridiculously good looking credit and there’s no practical reason why we should need to pay the deposit. But of course, there’s nothing they can do about that. So there’s a nice big chunk of change we weren’t planning on paying.

After I got the application in, I asked her to call me to get my credit card info for payment and tried one more time to get them to waive the deposit. No dice. The good news, though, is that they made an exception to their one business day delay on turning the electricity on, so our lights are back on now. I hope they patted themselves on the back after that one. We got the ice maker problem fixed too since I wrote about it earlier.

Lesson #3: Always request a key that’s going to make you feel like a rockstar

Nothing will make you feel more awesome when you pull your keys out of your pocket to get into your house than a flame key. Other than an American bald eagle key, that is. ‘Murica!



I’m feeling like it would be great if the moving gods would see the tribulation we’ve gone through and magically send little moving elves and fairies to unpack the rest of our stuff for us so we can just relax and not have to worry about any of this crap anymore. Alas, they’re probably all helping Santa get ready for Christmas this year, so I’ll have to get myself on the waiting list for the next time we move.


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