Several years ago I had a co-worker who had divorced his wife and found that he was suddenly living from paycheck to paycheck, what with child-support payments, the cost of living in an apartment and, oh yes, going out to see strippers pretty much every night. I guess in a way, it all adds up pretty quickly.
So I remember him telling me about the nightmare he was having dealing with the cable company. It seemed that he was late on his payment a few times and not only did they charge late fees, things started to get downright nasty if they had to send someone to the house to collect their equipment and/or payment. Usually, they would let you pay some huge fee and you could keep the cable going. But I asked the guy in all seriousness, “Why the hell do you have cable TV if you are busy spending all your money on strippers?”
He just said, “You have to have cable, you have to.” And, he ended up paying out some outrageous penalties and fees and reconnect taxes and such.
So, fast-forward to April 1st of this year when we decided to get rid of the cable company and switch to a different service. Because we don’t spend all of our money on strippers, it turns out that our cable bill was not only paid, but also actually overpaid. In fact, the cable company owes us $187.78.
The weird thing is, they haven’t sent anybody out to my house to say, offer me a check or some cash. In fact, the first “bill” that I got from them in mid-April showed that I owed them $70.25-. You’d think instead of sending a statement showing that they owed me money, they would have sent a check.
Instead of them calling me like they called my old co-worker to get the bill squared away, I had to call the cable company to point out that there was a slight error in their recent bill and in fact, they owed me more! Yep. A lot more.
I’ll spare you details of my over-friendly and over-pleasant phone conversation and just say that I finally had to go in person to one of the convenient cable service centers so I could ask them to compare the paper bill they sent me (the one for $70.25-) and what the computer showed for my account.
Sure enough, now I was at $187.78- and damn happy to be there. Only problem is, even though I was there and even though they had loads of cash, what with all those people showing up to make cash payments and late fees; I would still have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for my refund check. I was starting to think this was like one of those stupid mail-in rebates you get when you purchase something from Office Depot. (But don’t even get me started.)
So today, I come home from work and I see an envelope containing correspondence from the cable company and my first reaction is, “Whoo-hoo, let’s go to a strip club!”
Okay, I didn’t really say that.
So I ask my wife if in fact the cable people have paid us and she smiles excitedly and says, “No, but they got the amount they owe us right.”
Sure enough, these people actually printed up another statement telling us that we owe $187.78- and the payment due date is 05/28/07.
In a way, I’m almost tempted to not say anything and see if we can avoid getting paid until after the 28th, just to see if they charge us a negative late fee.
I’m thinking $50.00- would come in pretty handy.