After loosing my job, I fell behind on my power bill. I contacted NIPSCO and explained my problem and agreed to a payment arrangement that would split the past due amount in several smaller payments to be made each second week.
This agreement was entered into during the month of April with the first installment due May 19th.
In order to be sure that this payment was made on time, I mailed the payment May 11, by check, and attached the recipt to the agreement.
On May 27, NIPSCO came to my home with the intent to disconnect.
I produced the recipts to show that that payment had been made, the lineman contacted NIPSCO. NIPSCO claimed that they had not recieved the payment and that the disconnect would be compleated.
I informed the lineman that I could get this straightened out but would need a few minutes to contact the company to find out what had happened. His response was that if I didn't have a cell phone, I would have to go elsewhere to make that call, he was going to proceed with the disconnect which would make my home phone useless.
In a desperate attempt to buy some time, I ordered him off my property and threatened his person should he touch anything on my property, knowing that the Police would be called. He left my property, parked in the road and called the Police.
I then called NIPSCO and tried to straighten this out but NIPSCO would not give me the time to straighten this out, instead they required me to make the payment over the phone on the spot in order to delay the disconnect.
I had no options but to make the payment again.
While the Police were talking with the lineman, I called the bank, they found that my check had been cleared, all the information on the check was correct, NIPSCO had been payed! NIPSCO had lost the information, or entered my payment into the wrong account.
Now I had to deal with the Police. They came to my door and I informed them that the lineman was not lying, that I had indeed threatened him and explained that it was the only way I could buy the time needed to get to the bottom of this, showed them the recipts and the bank even informed the Police that they were faxing a copy of the cleared check to NIPSCO as we spoke.
As yet, NIPSCO has not contacted me to either return my money or even apologize for this mistake. This was my grocery money for this week, NIPSCO didn't care, they will have meals, they will eat well as I try to get by on one small meal a day untill my next unemployment check gets posted Monday.
Many thanks to Dekalb County Sheriffs Department for not over reacting and thier understanding.