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Letter from National Fuel

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by pharmsaler, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. pharmsaler

    pharmsaler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Western PA
    So I got a letter from our natural gas supplier yesterday..it went on to explain that my gas consumption is less than half of what I used last December, it went on to say they are going to send out an inspector and inspect the meter. If they noticed any tampering of the meter I could be in serious trouble. They recommended that I call customer service to set up the time for the inspector to visit my home.........SO I called the nasty lady at national fuel and explained that I was now using my fireplace insert more frequently and that I had turned my thermostat to less than 65 degrees. She put me on hold for a while then returned....She ran it by her supervisor and said there is no way a fireplace insert can reduce my gas consumption by that much...I explained that my insert is highly efficient and produces a large amount of heat and on and on and on....she put me on hold again....after a half hour on the phone they are still sending someone out to inspect the meter....I told the wench to also check out my wood pile in the back yard and then hung up on her!!

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  2. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,799
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Many have had it happen! Good job! :)
  3. fireview2788

    fireview2788 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Messages:
    835
    Loc:
    SW Ohio
    Don't blame her, she's just doing her job as she proved by having to talk with someone else. Enjoy watching them come out, scratch their heads and then leave. Then think about the guys in charge crying as another customer has decided to take care of themselves!

    fv
  4. Scott2373

    Scott2373 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    Williamson, New York
    Yeah, they don't appreciate you trying to save money, because you're not giving it to them! F*&$ 'em! If it had been me that lady called, I would have read her the riot act and I would NOT have been very nice about it! I would not have been pleased AT ALL if I had gotten an accusatory letter threatening me with legal actions because my gas bill dropped! I deplore ignorance and insolence! I'm gonna stop now before I really get myself worked up, lol Sounds like you handled the situation much better than I would have! :D
  5. JotulOwner

    JotulOwner Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    280
    Loc:
    Long Island, New York
    Yeah , the heating fuel companies have a funny reaction to people who don't consume large quantities of their product. My oil company dropped me as a customer. I got a new oil company. They dropped me too. Both said I didn't use enough oil to make it worth their while. They will still deliver (if I call them) at their standard high price, but no service contract (hourly service charge only). So, why would I need them? I can just call a bulk carrier for deliveries and a burner service company to maintain the system (which doesn't get too much wear and tear to begin with).
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,754
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    My electric meter gets changed every three or four years. In fact it is due again. Last time they had to walk behind 13 cord of split stacked oak to get to it. But it isn't their job to see why usage went down unless the meter shows signs of tampering. The right of way supervisor says they do the same thing at his house. And he works for them. He heats with a wood boiler.
  7. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    936
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Watch out for two things. They may try to charge you more for using less gas. They may try to place the burden of proof on you by threatening or charging you with a violation even with no evidence, just because they can.

    Last year I was paying $650 a Mo. for propane. I installed a small woodstove this fall. This Mo. my bill is $000. Be prepared to fight.

    Ehouse
  8. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,438
    Loc:
    Delaware, Ohio
    My propane company wanted to charge me a rental fee of $150/year on my 500 gallon tank because I wasn't using enough gas.

    I told them to come get the tank and refund me for the unused propane. Once it was gone, I called a few other suppliers and selected one of them to deliver a 120 gallon tank. As long as I have them top off the tank once a year (I used ~50 gallons last year), they don't charge me a fee.

    -SF
  9. Adkjake

    Adkjake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    207
    Loc:
    Adirondack High Peaks
    I'm fortunate that I do business with two locally owned family businesses. I have an oil fired boiler to back up the woodstove and an oil fired hot water heater. When I bought the house 2+ years ago, I asked the seller who he used for fuel oil delivery. He told me he uses a small mom and pop fuel oil supplier, that's all they do, supply fuel. Since it is Nov. 2009 and there is only about 1/4 tank, I call the business, and ask for a delivery. I get the owner on the phone, who also does most of the deliveries, introduce myself,tell him what house I bought and want to buy from him. He says, "oh yeah, I know that house, doesn't use hardly any oil at all. Just tell me when you need oil, 150 gal min delivery, and I'll be there within 48 hours. I'll start an account for you and if you aren't there when I deliver, I'll bill you, or leave the invoice in the mailbox and send a check" I'm blown away, OK sure, but if you come in the next few days, I'll likely be around. He tells me he's in my area on Thurs, and should be there around 10am. Sure enough, he shows up at 10:15, nice young man, fills the tank, looks at my wood stacks and says, see you next summer or fall! As he's rolling up the hose, I ask him who I should call for a furnace cleaning and tune up. He recommends another local small business.

    I call them, they tell me, we have a fall special on, tune up and clean for $100, make an appointment. They come when promised, do a great job, guy checks out and cleans the hot water heater at no charge. They do the same in 2010. This year, after servicing the boiler and hot water heater, the tech says, "for the amount of use you give them, call me every other year"

    Tell him thanks for that, but you know what, just for that, I'll call him every year for the $100 tune up special, small price to pay for loyalty, if the furnace or hot water fails, I want them to know, I'm a good customer.

    Understand the original poster has no choice but to deal with National Fuel Gas. but support your local businesses when you can. Some big corporations are customer friendly and good community neighbors, others not so much
  10. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    560
    Makes me wonder if pirating gas is a common practice.. that they seem pretty certain your stealing it is amazing. ...and disturbing.
  11. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,491
    Loc:
    N.W. Ohio
    My power went out a couple weeks ago so I called the co-op, the lady on the phone says we've had some other reports in the area of outages. An houre or two later the power comes on and about 5 min later a linemans truck stopes and a guy walkes up to the meter checks it out and leaves. I'm using less than half the power I was a year ago and they must of thouht I was
    stealing some. I doubt they stoped at eveyones house to make sure the power was on. The man said a squiral
    a few miles away caused the outage.
  12. Regency139

    Regency139 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Messages:
    62
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I enjoy hearing stories like this. Good job!
  13. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    Damn the man!

    I probably would have started laughing at the woman on the phone.

    Be certain to be home when they come to visit- if they propose changing the meter, I would insist that they prove that the meter has been properly calibrated before affixing it to your line. Would not want there to be any chance of false accusations :)
  14. welderboyjk

    welderboyjk Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    South West, Michigan
    As Ehouse stated be prepared to fight. Case in point friend form work bought a house. Didn't do much the first year or two he lived there. Put in new windows, added insulation, got new appliances, etc. Consumers Power around here does both electric AND nat. gas. They came out and said his meter was faulty. Charged him for back usage. The Michigan Public Service Commission could not even help him.
    They WILL screw you coming AND going..... BE CAREFUL !!
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    Gas company changed out my meter recently. I've been burning wood in this home every year since the day I built in in '98. I still run the furnace a few minutes a day for the humidifier. I also cook with gas and my water heater is gas so my gas bill averages $2 a day, a little higher in the shoulder seasons when it's too mild to burn wood. When I look at a graph of my consumption, it resembles the Golden Gate Bridge or the old Cisco Systems logo.
  16. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,265
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    Man..now that would set me off!
  17. Lighting Up

    Lighting Up Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    340
    Loc:
    Roc City NY
    Pound your chest man!...that's what wood burning is all about and someone noticed. Oh, remind them you were warmer too with the wood heat.
    md
  18. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    7,108
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    I hope they replace the meter and end with that. Your consumption is your consumption. Are you on a budget plan with them or something? Unless you signed something with them that guarantees you'll use so many cubic feet per year, I can't see how they can come after you. But, I've been surprised before.

    pen
  19. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,472
    Loc:
    Athens, Ohio
    I wouldn't worry about it to much they gotta do what they gotta do and chances are they will check of change the meter and that will be the end of it. Years ago when we quit milking cows on the dairy farm I grew up on the came and changed the meter due to our electric consumption dropping so much in one month.

    I wish they would come pick up my propane tank. I disconnected the line close to 6 years ago and told them to come pick it up and they never have. Heck they kept sending me a bill for a tank rental fee and for the first three years I called them and told em to shove it where the sun doesn't shine and by the way come pick up your tank. The last three years I have just thrown the bill in the trash and never called. One of these days I am gonna shove it over the hill and if they ever want it they can retrieve it from the ravine. :)
  20. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    936
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Adkjeke,
    That's the way it is here, (just south of the Mohawk valley) nice people to deal with and reasonable. Reward them if they please you.

    Remkel,
    Be nice to the lady on the phone, she has more power than you can imagine. Stick it to the man, not the phone lady. Be certain to be home when they visit and make the appointment at your convenience, not theirs. They work for you.

    Welderboyjk,
    Be careful, but be assertive, proactive: Fight!

    Certified 106
    No, No, No. you shove their F#n tank out to road side with their name up and if there's no decal put up a sign. I've done it. they'll be there in a week.
  21. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,791
    Loc:
    mid-ohio via St.Croix USVI
    I recieved a similar letter last year
    only burned 100 gals in the previous five years
    hehehehe......................
    told them come and get the tank
    but it is still here
  22. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,161
    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    I wonder if you would get a phone call if your usage suddenly increased say 3 times more than normal?
  23. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    That call would be congratulatory.
    "Congrats, due to your high usage, you'll receive a free manually operated can opener!
    Thank you for your patronage".
  24. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,425
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Make sure to follow up and tell us what happens in this story.
  25. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Same thing happened to me several years ago for the same reason.......so I put HER on hold.......

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