Monday, June 21, 2010

How I Got Violated by BGE

So another reason for the lack of posting here is due to the fact that I recently moved. My ordeal with moving is an actual post unto itself, but needless to say that Skip Serpico’s days of living with “someone whom he had a relationship so contentious that he never once mentioned her on the blog” are finally over.

That’s right; Skip Serpico is now the proud owner of a swinging bachelor pad. Think of it like the hipper and younger cousin of Stately Fish & Spaghetti Manor.

Now securing the location did deplete my nascent savings account, but it was totally worth it. I can now, conceivably, realistically walk to work. I’ve also got shopping and dining options nearby. Believe me when I tell you that this place is sweet.

It’s also a work in progress. I’ve got few furnishing and my kitchenware could be described as “George W. Bush-esque.” But I’ve got the wi-fi connection working and I also got my Gas and Electric transferred over.

Which brings us to the main event; how BGE totally violated me.

On Thursday I got a call from my landlord saying that BGE had called him to let him know they were going to be cutting service to my apartment. It’d neglected to transfer the service to my name. I’d really meant to, but I’m nocturnal by nature so I just assumed that it’d be a hassle that would require waking up early, which is best left for another day in the infinite future. But clearly on Thursday my back was against the wall.

So I call BGE and I get a pleasant chap who’s very helpful. He asks for the usual information, which I’ve got no problem offering up. Then he tells me that he’s going to run the application past his credit department.

At this point I slightly begin to worry. I’m not sure exactly how bad my credit is, but I doubt it’s good. Still, I’ve finally got those bastards from my Student Loan off my back, so I’m thinking everything should be kosher.

He gets back on line. “Everything went though just fine” he says. He then informs me that a $20 application fee will be applied to one of my first two bills. I’m thinking of how painless this has been. Then the other shoe drops.

“There will be a $433 deposit required to activate service,” he says as casual as can be.

Um, excuse me? I manage to blurt out “that seems kinda high.”

“Well, it’s 17% of the annual usage for that unit” he retorts without a shred of irony or sarcasm, or even disbelief that $433 deposit is out of the ordinary.

Now at this point I should point out that I live on the third floor. So I’m thinking that maybe he’s giving me the bill for the entire building as opposed to just my apartment. I’m also trying frantically to figure out what 100% would be is 17% is $433.

“No, this is for apartment #3.”

He asks if I’m ready to pay and I am, just barely. I mean I’m not rich, nor am I strapped for cash, but $433 out of the blue is going to hurt anyone, especially in this economic climate.

In an effort to be fiscally responsible I inquire about budget billing, wherein the billing remains consistent year-round, thereby avoiding the peaks and valleys of the various seasons. He transfers me.

And equally pleasant woman picks up the call. I tell her what I’m interested in and she crunches some numbers. As she crunches the numbers she tells me that I’ve got an electronic meter, so I won’t need someone to actually visit me to read it. I try to take it as a silver lining.

Then she tells me what my consistent monthly bill will be. “It’ll be $327.”

Seriously? A monthly bill, for a studio apartment, will average out at $327? Are you out of your goddamned mind?

I respectfully decline.

But that got me thinking; what the blue blazes was the dude who lived in my apartment before me doing that would result in such an astronomically high BGE bill? Here are some theories that I’ve come up with.

1) Running everything all the time.

2) Operating a dvd/cd bootlegging operation.

3) Offering to do anyone’s laundry, friends, neighbors, homeless people.

4) Growing weed under heatlamps, while operating a meth lab and still finding time to cook up some rock.

5) He was a supervillain that needed to recharge his powerful battle armor on a nightly basis.

That’s all that I can come up with. But it doesn’t really matter. I’m short $433 dollars and BGE totally used me.

(On a side note, I’m typing this by flashlight on a laptop that I charged at Barnes & Nobles.)


  1. We moved from Bmore in the summer of 06 right when the bge cap increased. The last bill we received was double every other friggin bill I had received. Reason #6 I can't afford my hometown.

    Whatever you do don't turn on the AC!!!

  2. your kitchenware is "george w. bush-esque"? what the hell does that even mean?

  3. What? a new post on F&S? Finally! Ok, now I'll go read it.

  4. Ok WOW! $433? $327? Sheesh..I'm afraid to find out how much it's going to cost me when I move to Brooklyn at the end of the year

  5. thank you for making me look up contentious

  6. a flashlight!! HAAAAAAA!! Been there, done that! I'm a pro at living like an Amish person.

    yes, WTF is a G. Dubya-esque kitchen?

    My deposit with BGE was in the hundreds and they charged me every time I moved, BUT they didn't charge me the amount up front. They split it up and added it to my 1st 3 bills. If your account is in good standing after a year, you get the money back like with a security deposit.

    Budget billing is the biggest waste of money ESPECIALLY if you live in a studio. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment, my AC and tv stay on 14+ hours a day. My computer is on 24 hours a day. My bill is less than $70 during the winter and less than $90 during the summer. Don't let them rip you off.



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