Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Gasping for breath in the Gas Chamber

This is the response from Entergy to Robyn Flanery's outrageous bills in a house which was vacant but showing usage:

---- "DUPUIS wrote:
Dear Ms. Flanery I wanted to respond to your Entergy billing issue. I
have completed my internal investigation on your account. At this time
looking at your account and meter readings it appears that you do owe
the money. It seems that yes for several months your bills were
estimated and when we were able to get a good reading, the reading
corresponded to the time period the home was vacant. We at Entergy are
trying daily to return to consistent meter readings for all customers
and we apologize for the inconvenience. One thing that all customers
need to understand is that the meter does not lie. Our meters are
sophisticated mechanical devices that measure the flow of gas and
electricity that customers consume. The meter does not care if you are
rich, poor, or ill, it just shows usage. At this time you are currently
set up on a 10 month Delayed Payment plan to help you with the bills.
We are not charging any interest on the amount owed we simply divided
the amount by 10. As the Customer Service Manager for District A the
buck technically falls to me on customers issues. I am sorry if this is
not good news, but it is what it is.

Thanks ,Mike

Highly sophisticated mechanical devices that don't lie....how would you know if you aren't fucking reading them? And why aren't you required to read them? Is there any other business on the planet where a company can estimate what they want to charge a customer without having proof to back it up? If I open a smorgasbord, can I charge a fat guy $100 as oppossed to a skinny guy $20 without accurately assessing how much each person ate?

but look at this sentence:

It seems that yes for several months your bills were
estimated and when we were able to get a good reading, the reading
corresponded to the time period the home was vacant.

So when they actually read the meter it was much less than what they were previously estimating because that was a month in which the house was vacant. That's a convenient explanation.

Now explain this:

Anonymous said...
here's an idea that may help provide some perspective: everyone who reads AZ - New Orleanians, and people around the country - go look at your recent gas bill, and post the CCF or CCM reading here. tell us where you live too (city or state or neighborhood if it's in New Orleans). if you want to include more info from your bill, like i did below, I'm sure the Zombie won't mind.

here's mine in nashville (for a family of 3):
service period: 3/13-4/12 (30 days)
Gas Used (CCF - 100 cubic feet): 77
heat factor: 1.034
number of therms used: 80

current month charges: 91.30
local franchise fee: 5.58

total amount due: 96.88

This anon's usage was 77 ccf. Robyn's was anywhere from 480 ccm to over 32,000 ccm....and I've been to Robyn' s house...it's probably 1500 to 1800 sq. ft.

Why couldn't they have audited the meter from the last time it was read and estimated the usage to see if they were overestimating? They said she used over 32,000 ccm's without reading the fucking meter? C'mon man...this is pure bullshit.

I urge anyone reading this blog from outside Entergy's area to please submit your energy usage bills to this blog....Also any local readers....I want to do a comparison of what Entergy is charging people in this area as opposed to the rates in the rest of the country.

Here is Robyn's heartbreaking response to the Entergy rep:

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your response. I am devastated that this is the outcome. I truly thought that you would be able to stop this travesty. I am concerned that there might be a serious infrastructure problem with the meters allowing them to spin more rapidly than in the past. I think we should address this with a professional that is well versed in electrical and gas metering. Possibly by performing an audit. I am VERY concerned that the meter is showing USAGE when the property was vacant. I know that nobody in New Orleans could afford such a bill. I know that I am at the mercy of Entergy when you are telling me what I owe. I will pay the bill with the 10 month payment plan that you have arranged. It is still far too much for me to afford. I am sure to have to take out a loan to meet all my bills with this weight on me.


Robyn Flanery

We're gonna lose another good family from this city. How can anyone live in a city where they have to take loans out just to pay their utility bill?


Anonymous said...


As a local that's seen my Entergy bills only triple since sometime last fall, I can appreciate what you are doing here. But I think that you may be misinterpreting what the Entergy rep was getting at in his reply.

I read what he wrote to mean that they (under)estimated usage for some period of time (where he implies that the house was not vacant - or maybe some gas line was ruptured somewhere in the house?) and they were only able to get an actual reading later on, when the house was vacant.

In other words, they finally got a "good reading" when it would seem to Robyn that nobody was even there to use the gas/electricity. If this is true, then she is just seeing the sum of all the months that they had underestimated usage.

I'm not trying to help their cause here, but this is exactly what seems to be happening with many people that I know with their water bills. Apparently the S&W board has been doing the same thing with estimating usage and then slapping a huge bill on you when they finally get around to reading your meter.

LAW70 said...

Hey D, here we go:

I live in Dallas, Texas. We are a family of 3 (two-story home) and TXU Energy is our electric provider.

*Service dates- 3/15 thru 4/16
*Usage - 911kw hours
*13.8 cents per kw (this JUST changed to 13.26 cents per kw)
*NO Local Francise Fee
*My bill - 129.76

In the state of Texas we have MANY electric providers to choose from. TXU Energy is "considered" the most expensive. Maybe this explains the TXU Energy Rewards program that I am in.

At any rate, I guess I will not complain when my next bill arrives.

Beklar said...

service dates: 3/19 to 4/16 (28 days)
Gas Service: $21.47
Storm Reserve Rider: $0.57
ENO Purchased Gas Adj: 42CCF@$0.96053 $49.95
Street Use Franchise Fee: $3.79
City Tax: $2.27
Total: $78.05

This may seem low to you, but this is going a month with almost no heat because my last bill was $236.

I hate Entergy

sl said...


over 13 cents a kilowatt is not very good. i'm not sure what it is this month for new orleans, but our yearly average is about 9 cents a kilowatt and even that is not good.

it's interesting that the states with the highest rates are the states that have deregulated the most, the theory being that competition between utilities would lower rates. that theory has not worked out well for consumers in texas and california, who pay the highest bills in the country.