Utility Deposits

Everyone knows that if you have shitty credit, when you get electricity, natural gas or water service turned on, the company is going to charge you a deposit. The amount of the deposit depends on just how bad your credit is, and the anticipated usage. It’s almost never more than the estimated highest two monthly bills, and if you pay on time, they will give it back with a penny or two of interest after one year.

That’s how it used to work.

In preparation for the purchase of my new house, which was delayed yet again yesterday, I contacted both the water and electricity providers. Both have lost their mind.

The water guys do the usual thing with your credit report to determine how much they will charge. But then they keep it until you sell the place, or move out if you’re a renter.

The electricity guys don’t bother with a credit report. Sure, they check it, but everybody has to pay what they estimate will be the highest two bills for the year will be. Even an existing customer with years of perfect payment history at a different service address must pay when moving or adding locations. At least they give it back after a year. Supposedly.

Monopolies suck!

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