:: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 ::
Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) has got to be one of the most annoyings things on the planet just for the reason of their intense laziness and screwing over ability.
I go yesterday to pay my electric bill, the deposit and start-up fee, AT the OG&E office downtown. (Why is there a start-up fee is my first question since all they had to do was have someone just type in the new information for my account and probably flip a switch) So I drive up to the office and walk around the sidewalk to discover the dumbest thing ever. There hangs a sign on the door:
----------> YOU CAN PAY YOUR BILL AT
----- SOUTHERLAND FINANCE
---- NEXT DOOR.
^(Giant hand pointing to the right)
Excuse me? You want me to pay my bill at some arbitrary, and somewhat shady, loan shark establishment. I think not!
However, much to my dismay, I had no apparent choice for the woman who was inside the OG&E office didn't seem to really have any idea what to do with my payment anyway. So I wandered next door to the loan shark establishment and to my surprise another sign on the door:
PAY ALL YOUR BILLS HERE!
OG&E, ONG, CINGULAR
Are you telling me that I can pay ALL of my bills at one place? How convenient! That means that you can rob me blind and leave me with NO utilities at ALL? SIGN ME UP!!!
Still no other choice so I go on inside, followed by several other utility company screw-overs just asking, no wanting, to be taken advantage of. As I walk down the ludicrously long hallway, I notice yet another sign informing me of how this reeming is to take place.
$1.00 Cash Fee - OG&E
My wife and I have no money to spare, so they day before, we went to the bank and withdrew the exact amount needed for this electricity deposit, $150.00. I had no other money with me except the deposit money because my vehicle thinks that gas is cotton candy and the oil companies find it funny to take from the poor and give the poor a kick in the pants. But anyway, this meant that I no longer had the correct amount due for my deposit and 'start-up fee' because the loan shark establishment that was 'authorized' to take my payment was also 'authorized' to take their own.
So my bill became $151.00 due to this joint robbery. As I mentioned above, my wife and I have no money and this $1.00, as little as it may seem, most definately adds up. So after a trip to the bank for the extra dollar, I return to the loan shark establishment and once inside am informed that I must have my OG&E bill to make payment. It was just turned on! How in the world am I supposed to have a bill?
So I kindly inform the nice lady that I have no bill and she informs me that I must call the devil's lair and get my OG&E account number from them. So I take the number and walk back down the ludicrously long hallway and call.
No ring. No annoying automated voice (however, at that point would have been somewhat better than none). Not even cheesy music. So I sat for a good two minutes or so before flailing my phone around hoping that the enertia formed by the rotation would cause the automated voice to fall out or some other event. No avail. I redial. Finally a voice, automated as ever, but once again, better than the silence.
Apparently the pressing of the buttons has become too much of a task for this country's fine citizens and now you have to speak your responses to the deaf automated voice in order to navigate the endless extensions of the OG&E phone system. And when you finally get an actual person, you then have to answer all the same questions over again because the automated voice "didn't manage to register your response." Uh huh.
Of course, the first question is....
"Sir, can you tell me your OG&E account number so that I may look up your information?" (the information the deaf automated fella couldn't register.)
After explaining my situation of not knowing my OG&E account, I was able to retrieve it from my dear OG&E representative who took the time to inform me of several pieces of information that only hindered me in my quest of payment bliss. I hung up promptly.
BACK down the ludicrous hallway in the loan shark establishment and to the window where I am finally able to resolve my debt of a deposit and 'start-up fee.' Time will only tell if OG&E ever got that deposit and 'start-up fee' though.
God is good. All the time.
:: Ben 4:26 PM [+] ::