National Grid: Hang Up with a… Smile?

In June of last year, we were in it deep with National Grid, the monster upstate New Yorkers can’t escape.  I posted about the insane fiasco we went through then and left out all the other insanity they’ve put me through in the past.  Like demanding I pay $1500, which, at the time, was less than my husband made in a month, let alone a couple of days, to keep my power on, and other craziness they used to do to me.

I say “used to” because, folks, it seems like times, they be a changin’.  I just got off the phone after having the most pleasant conversation I’ve ever had with a National Grid employee.

Here’s the deal.  Their billing schedule is the exact opposite of M’s payroll schedule.  So we’re always a couple weeks behind.  Which means there’s always a disconnect in my mailbox.

Once upon a time, this was a ginormous cause of worry for me.  NiMo (short for Niagara Mohawk, which was the monster before it became National Grid) hired Satan’s children to work in their customer service offices.  Then they locked them in a room and subjected them to hours of stuffed animals and puppies and kitties.  Then they released them on the general public without a thought or a care as to who might be slain in the process.

Christ himself was afraid.  He told me in a dream.

Okay, I made that up.

Last month, I called National Grid’s customer service line, which, by the way, has improved slightly, in spite of the annoying voice-activated menu.  You can now be transferred via the automated menu to collections, and don’t have to deal with the snotty, “Uh… You have to calllll thhhis numbuh.  I can’t help you heunh.  Okaaaay? Buh-bai.”  You can just hear the bitch’s eye-roll.  And did she actually just suck her teeth at you? Did she miss the “service” part of “customer service” or is she confused as to who the customer is?

The phone was answered by a pleasant sounding man, when I finally got through the annoying menu, which didn’t once stutter on what I told it I wanted.  So either I spoke more clearly than I usually do, or they’ve tweaked it some.  And he proceeded to joyfully extend my disconnection date three days, and then reinstate my payment arrangement pending payment.  Because they don’t actually do business on weekends or holidays (It’s true.  Though their payment arrangements center is open from 8am-1pm on Saturday, they don’t actually disconnect on weekends or holidays.  So if your disconnect or payment arrangement passes on one of these days, you’re safe until the next business day.  For now.  Who knows if they’ll change that in the future.), I had a couple extra days tacked on and ended up with five extra days to pay the bill.  I didn’t actually need five days and paid when I had the money.  But having it was nice. 

As usual, there was a disconnect in my mailbox this month, too.  You’d think they’d notice M’s payment schedule and change the billing cycle, but whatever.  This way probably gets them more money with late fees or interest or something.  (Hint, hint, M.)  M doesn’t get paid till Tuesday and money’s tight.  So I called to see if maybe they’d push it back again.

Another excruciatingly pleasant gentleman answered the phone, calling me “ma’am” and saying “No problem!” a lot.

Quick sidetrack: My bird is absolutely nuts.  Keeps flying laps around the ceiling, screeching as if someone’s trying to kill him, for no apparent reason at all.  Annoying fucker.

Oh… Ghetto squirrel is trying to get in the window again.  Wth?

And he, once again, pushed my disconnect date back.  And once again, I ended up with a day more than I needed because of the weekend.

So far, they haven’t tried to make me pay more than the most recent past due bill to keep my service on.  I’ve not spoken with a single snide, snippy or sarcastic CSR.  And where as I used to be crying two minutes into the phone call, I don’t even consider shedding a tear on the phone with National Grid these days.

I wonder what happened.

Or maybe I’ve just been lucky.

I dunno.  Anyone else have a pleasant experience with them, lately?

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One Response to “National Grid: Hang Up with a… Smile?”

  1. […] Apparently I spoke entirely too soon. I’m not sure I have the energy to talk about it, right now.  Basically they want blood from a stone in less than twenty-four hours. […]

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