I got my household natural gas bill a few days ago. Man! Was it ever high. I discussed this with a few friends who use the same gas company and they told me that I should call NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Co) and find out why my bill was so high because none of theirs show a marked increase!
So this morning, I called NIPSCO and talked to customer service rep. Dawn, who was as nice as could be to me. She explained that I had subscribed to buy my gas from an outside source, not NIPSCO. She gave me the phone number of that source. She also explained that right now NIPSCO is selling natural gas at about 42 cents per therm, and I was probably paying about 75 cents per therm from my outside source.
I remember one day, in August of 2009 that a young man came to my door and talked to me about how much money he could save me if I subscribed to his plan. At the time, NIPSCO gas was very expensive, and I could lock in a certain amount per therm with his company. Being naive about such things, I thought it sounded like a good deal, and I even took the stuff inside (I did not let this guy in my house) and discussed it with Prof for a few minutes. I admit she was skeptical, but I could see that right now it would save me a few bucks, so why not try it.
Now, almost two years later, I find out that NIPSCO's gas is down to a reasonable rate while I am locked into this other plan for another YEAR! If I choose to withdraw from their plan, I pay an exorbitant penalty.
I feel really dumb...no, stupid for doing this. I caution any other person who is faced with this decision to avoid signing anything! I feel that this young man took advantage of me. Though, I am in possession of all my faculties, so I guess I am the only one to blame. Right now, I am feeling put upon, dumb and like someone has really taken me "for a ride."
I have learned a valuable lesson. Don't give lip service to anyone who comes to your door trying to save you money. Slam the door in their face and go on about your business.
I think these outside companies prey on senior citizens. It's a story as old as time itself. I have seen it happen to my grandparents, and now it has happened to me. I'm mad as hell right now, but mostly at myself!