First time home-buyer! :-) Anyway, "Peco Energy" (a utility company that services my area and I think a large portion of eastern US) is my current electricity provider. I established new service with them, (which has nothing to do with any of my former experiences with them.)
Everything was fine, until I received a letter stating the following:
"A recent review of your account indicates that you will be required to pay a deposit in order to maintain your electric service. PECO Energy is allowed to ask for a deposit or other guarantee if you have not established a credit history with PECO Energy or are found to have an unsatisfactory credit history. Our credit department has determined that you will be required to pay a deposit for the following reason: YOU HAVE AN UNCOLLECTED ACCOUNT WITH PECO ENERGY."
The account they are referring to is a valid old account; it was sold to NCO. In October 2001, I PAID THE ACCOUNT IN FULL, $1,799. Note that the account NEVER went to any of the 3 major reporting bureaus. I paid in full with NCO, and it should have been relayed back to PECO; because NCO paid PECO, so they should have obviously known the account was PAID (not settled, but PAID IN FULL.)
Well, I call up PECO, they ask me to contact NCO to send them proof, then I call NCO, they say they will send proof to PECO again but that they already did. So, I call back PECO... and now they say "it doesn't matter if the account was paid in full -- we need a deposit because of your history of delinquency."
They never ran a credit report on me, so they have no reason to assume a history of delinquency, except my experience with them.
I asked them for a copy of their policy on deposits. They said the letter they sent IS the policy. Obviously, I'm going to need to march down there and settle this with a manager (none were avail to speak on the phone.) So, I will travel the 30 miles to the office and sit there until I am satisfied with their answers.
Here's where I need your help: what leverage do I have? (my credit has since improved, and I now own a home, and I COULD pay 2 months' worth of deposit, but why?) Also, is what they are doing legal? They kind of monopolize the electric industry around here.
I feel once again like my credit problems of the past simply will not let go... ever! It's like financial jail forever!
Thanks in advance....