Does anyone know if utility/gas companies are bound by the Fair Credit Billing Act? I am helping my dad with the gas company, here's the problem:
He bought a new house and moved last June 2006. He didn't sell his old house until Feb 2007. For the 7 months he wasn't living there, he kept the thermostat at 55 just so the pipes wouldn't freeze. Paid his bills every month, they averaged about $69/mo.
2/16/07 my dad called the gas company and cancelled his service. He also told them to perform a final meter reading for his final bill.
They never came to read the meter. When they sent his final bill, it was an "estimated" reading and the bill was for $325.00. He calculated his own estimate of the actual usage, and sent them $57.00. He also wrote a letter disputing their estimate, and told them to go get an actual reading, at which point he would pay the difference.
They received his letter; they even sent him a letter back acknowledging that they made an error in reading the meter, their bill was incorrect, they would cancel the bill and send him a new one.
They never sent a new bill. Instead they sent the account to a collections agency (RPM LLC), and put the disputed balance on his credit report.
My dad actually is having some fun with the CA whenever they call him. He ties them up on the phone for about a half-hour just debating, and ultimately they always hang up on him. Nonetheless, Nicor is still trying to get him to pay for a billing error which they admitted in writing.
I'm writing a letter to them, but just wondering if it will be effective for me to quote the FCBA. Or does the FCBA only apply to open-ended credit card accounts?
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