Here's one which happened to me several years ago. We had purchased our first house in January and it had all electric heat. Knowing that Toledo Edison is about the most expensive company in the country as far as electric rates I didn't want to pay $300 a month to heat the house the following year so that summer I installed a gas line to the house and put in a gas furnace including all the required duct work. It was a big job and took me alll summer.
That winter I enjoyed $80-$150 a month gas heating bills as opposed to $150-$300 that I would have been paying for electric heat. But this is where it all turns bad.
In the spring (about May, I noticed a pretty unusually low electric bill ($19.00!) It should have still been about $60.00.
So I went out to read the meter figuring they misread it and was surprised to see that it was reading even LESS that it showed on the bill! I think it started moving backwards, but don't know what exactly happened.
Well I call Toledo Edison asking them to get this checked and a guy came out and replaced the meter saying that it was bad. OK no problem.
The next bill I got was for about $850 !!
The explanation was that according to them it looked like the meter STARTED going bad the previous fall so they adjusted the difference in the previous years billing!
I explained over the phone that I had replaced the heating with gas, offered to send them the $250 invoice from the gas company for the gas line and the furnace receipts to prove I was heating my house with gas but they wouldn't accept it and insisted I pay what it WOULD have cost to heat my house with electric all that winter.
So I said fine I'll call the Ohio public utilitiy commision which is a state office that oversees the actions of public utilities and resolves disputes. All the while I'm thinking that any reasonable person could look at the evidence and conclude that the electric bill all winter was on par with what it should be without electric heat ($60 a month). The public utility commision, which is there to protect consumers (supposedly) came back with "Yes, you need to pay the electric bill since any dispute on a broken meter is resolved by going back into historical use for those months..
Toledo Edison gave me a nice payment plan whereby they wouldn't shut off my electricity if I paid them an additional $150 a month until the $850.00 bill was paid off.