Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Amazing Vanishing $300 Trick!

The City of Fresno runs the utilities for water, sewer, and garbage.  Nothing surprising about that.  But, imagine my surprise when I opened the first utility bill from the City and saw they wanted more than $300 for just two weeks of service.  And that was even before the water had been turned on.  That's a far cry from the $10 or so per week for garbage pickup I had been told.

Turns out, despite having been told that no deposit would be necessary, they wanted a $300 deposit.  But this was just itemized on the water portion of the bill.  Why they would want a deposit for water, I'm not sure.  Maybe it's so they can turn it off on us if we don't pay the bill or something like that.  (I'm pretty sure it has to do with non-payment and being able to keep the water turned on.)

Well, after a phone call to the Utility department, they said they could waive the deposit.  But I'd have to bring them all three credit reports and all three credit scores.  (One's not good enough?)  I know http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ gives you a free copy of your own credit reports once a year (you really should get yours.  Do it now.  I'll wait....)

(I'm still waiting....)

Back?  Good.

So, I got the reports from them that I hadn't gotten in the past 12 months, bought the credit score for the ones I don't have free access to.  Printed the credit scores and credit reports out (came to more than 40 pages!) and dragged them down to the City.

Turns out, they only needed the credit score sheets not the full credit report and the $300 got magically removed.  And it only cost me about $25 for the reports and another $50 for ink and toner.

(Ok, the $50 was a lie.)

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