They switched to a new (outsourced) billing system recently that was supposed to "dramatically improve" billing statements.
At our house, we had two accounts for PSE - one for the house power and a separate account number for a streetlight-like fixture on our property. The reason for the two account numbers was that they were billed differently: house power as normal, streetlight at a fixed rate paid once every other month.
To add to the complexity, we were enrolled in an estimated payments plan. Our costs stayed they same, month to month, with adjustments twice a year to update our average payment amount up/down.
Before the new billing system, we received bills once a month - with the amount fluctuating every other month by the cost of the outdoor light.
Under the new system, we had the "estimated payments" check marked, the reps could see it in the system, they claimed we were enrolled - but our bills that arrived acted as though we weren't in that payment plan.
They couldn't explain it. We were told "Oh, well, it's probably due to the cutover to the new system. Next month's bill should be normal." But it wasn't.
"Oh, it's probably just hiccups - I just changed something here so next month will work for you." Nope.
"It shows you're enrolled. Maybe it's in your spam email?" We get the emails fine. It's the wrong damned payment plan.
Our friends and family didn't have these problems. I figured it was because their idiotic new system couldn't handle monthly estimates plus a bimonthly secondary meter.
So we said "to heck with this" and dropped the outdoor light (installed our own floodlights instead).
MAGICALLY estimated payment bills started working for our account.
Kudos on going farther the Hard Way.
The one who said "Oh, it's probably just hiccups - I just changed something here so next month will work for you." was one of them. Pretty sure he just "turned it off and on again", praying the problem would go away or that I'd give up.
And in a way - I did. At a loss to them. What I pay in additional metered power for the floodlights is peanuts compared to what we were being charged every other month.
Honestly I couldn't be happier with the final result.
But that's also why I complimented the author of the original content who stuck to it long enough to (possibly) get the broken system fixed.
Regardless to say, a lawyer's letter would probably get the issue resolve. Stupid that it gets to this point.
Please keep image responses on reddit and off Hacker News.
There is, however, a rule against complaining about HN turning into Reddit. The official HN guidelines read as follows:
"If your account is less than a year old, please don't submit comments saying that HN is turning into Reddit. (It's a common semi-noob illusion.)"
My per-comment average is nearly twice yours. Please pick on someone else.
I'm sorry you don't like my comment. I thought it was grate.
I still don't think links fit the style of this site but in the future I'll probably just downvote and let the numbers speak for themselves.
Please keep in mind that there are a lot of people on HN who are NOT native English speakers, me being one of them. I am well aware of the fact that on occasion I have a tendency to misspell great as grate, and vice versa. The other 2 languages I speak fluently have much more reasonable spelling rules, but I am not complaining.
However, I am guessing that your superior spelling and grammar skills in your native language are a great source of pride for you, as you like to show them off so much. I would not want to take that away from you. So, you have a nice day.
You can take one of my bills -- I receive two Ecobills and a paper bill!
I've called this problem the "Non-Authoritative Data Source" problem for years - NADS. Never quite caught on though...
The end of the blog post have me a good laugh.