Sometimes it’s not just easy to remain positive. In my case, it’s almost impossible. Which is why I’m now reminded of a favorite quote from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: “That’s what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously!”
I never thought I’d say this, but buying a home in Illinois is easier than in Arizona. Even considering that my own attitude has gotten worse as the home-buying experience has dragged on, it’s amazing how much uncertainty and confusion is part of a process that is essentially done thousands upon thousand of times a year.
Without getting into any prior incidents of house hunting and obtaining a mortgage (the origination of my aforementioned bad attitude), today’s moment-of-duh is sponsored by the letters A-P-S; as in Arizona Public Service.
We’re scheduled to close on a house in three days. Friday. However, no one knows if we will close on Friday or even where the closing will take place. It’s even been mentioned that maybe I’ll be able to sign the documents on Thursday, but probably won’t be able to pick up the keys until Friday afternoon. And that’s IF everything goes well with the loan and the paperwork and it’s all submitted before 1:00pm Arizona time. Otherwise, it might be Monday.
Yet I’m told that we’re still on schedule. It’s a nightmare, but I digress.
So this morning began the process with APS to transfer the electricity service to my name with a start date of Friday.
On the APS website I was able to set up an account and begin the process of transferring service to my name. What floored me, however, was the $540 deposit they demanded before scheduling a time to transfer service. However, when I went to go pay the deposit, online, every screen kept showing I had a $0.00 account balance and owed nothing.
So I called their customer service.
Service Rep #1 informed me that when paying the deposit a different account number needs to be used; not the one assigned to me just minutes ago and the one I’ll apparently be using for as long as I own the house. He provided me with the alternate number, told me to go online, and pay the deposit.
I go the website, enter the alternate account number, go through the steps of paying the $540 deposit, and upon hitting SUBMIT – am told there was a technical error and to please call their 800 number.
So I called their customer service again.
Arizona Public Service Customer Support
Service Rep #2 was pretty good, actually, and explained their pay-over-the-phone process. Unfortunately he had to a) transfer me to their payment people and then after making the payment, b) I had to call the general service line back with the confirmation number so that they could set up a time to transfer the service. And I did…
So I called their customer service again. For the third time if you’re keeping count.
Service Rep #3 took the confirmation number down and we started the process of setting up a time on Friday for service to be transferred.
Here’s how that conversation went (in paraphrased form although I’m sure it’s been recorded for quality assurance and training)…
Operator: “Ok Mr. Miller, we’re going to need to be assured that all appliances will be off when we turn the power on in order to reduce the chance of fire or surges. Are all appliances currently turned off?”
Me: “I don’t know. Doubtful. I don’t live there. We close Friday.”
Operator: “Then you will need to talk to the sellers and be sure they turn off all appliances.”
(A few more questions go by and we agree on a Friday date…)
Operator: “Do I have your assurance that all appliances will be turned off on Friday before we turn the power on?”
Me: “No. We already talked about that.”
Operator: “Then you will need to call us back when you are able to provide us with that assurance.”
Operator: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
Me: “How long of a process is it to turn the power on after I call you back with the assurance?”
Operator: “Depends on when you call.”
(About 5 seconds of silence.)
Me: “Let me rephrase that. If I call at, say, 10 a.m., how long?”
Operator: “Oh. Well, it usually takes less than an hour but depending on volume, we ask that you give us until close of business day which is 5 p.m.”
And so the frustration continues. Maybe I’ll close on Friday, maybe Thursday. Maybe I’ll get the keys by this weekend, maybe it’ll be Monday. Who knows? Maybe I’ll have electricity or maybe I’ll be forced to unpack with the help of my car’s headlights.
Which, by the way, only one headlight currently works due to another bad experience with the mechanic but that’s a story for, well, never. Who cares? It’s a broken headlight.
My head is swimming……
All I can think is that somehow the conversation turned from transferring the existing service from the previous owner to me to a situation where they thought they needed to turn on the electricity to a house where it was actually turned off.
There should be no surges nor potential fire. Service currently exists at the address so it should be just a matter of changing out their name with mine and billing me instead of them.
On the closing date (which is now MONDAY) – I get billed for electricity.
(Which reminds me, I need to call them back to confirm the new close date.)