The Gray Area

The Gray Area

Posts Tagged ‘ladwp

How to Defraud the Electric Company and Get Free Electricity

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ladwp1

The title of this post may be a bit of a misnomer. But what the hell it attracts attention and I’m positive the information herein will actually work. Let it be know that I did not actively seek out this information. I stumbled upon it through a random act of the city’s incompetence.








Disclaimer:

I take no responsibility for what anyone does with the information contained in this post. The only reason I mention it (aside from how much it pisses me off) is with the hopes that in some far out way that enough people will be alerted to this and the powers that be will actually do something about it! Continue on at your own risk.

True story.

So I’m doing my usual tallying up of the monthly bills and I notice something interesting. I haven’t received an electric bill this month. I check my bank account and I realize I haven’t received an electric bill in several months while I’ve received others right on time.

So, being a good citizen, I call the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to see what’s up with my account. Maybe I’ve over paid, which would be good because the kid can always use a refund check or some credit.

So I give the operator my information and she says my name does not match up with my address? WTF?

It turns out that because of an error (someone opened an account and gave them the wrong address) they have an entirely new name attached to my address and since I’m not inclined to open mail (especially bills) that don’t have my name on them our bill has gone unpaid for this amount of time…yet we still have had electricity.

How does this happen you may ask? Well, it seems that the LADWP has an issue with their system wherein all someone has to do is call and give them a new address and they’ll change the information in their system. There is NO I repeat NO check in the system that will flag an address with someone’s name already attached it…it basically will just bump someone’s name off of their own electric bill.

The supervisor assures me that this is a rare glitch. His exact words were “The odds of this happening are the odds of you hitting the lottery…and that’s the Super Lottery.”

But this all seems far too easy. If the super lotto was this easy to scam rest assured I’d be a millionaire right now.

So now that the setup is out of the way I present you this. Here’s what you do if you want to get free electricity if this scam works at the very least it will give you a break on your electric bill while you let your finances recover if need be. I still have to pay for the electricity I should have been getting billed for (which is only fair) but I bitched at the supervisor about the situation and he knocked all of the late fees off of my bill…so essentially I got a several month break from having to actually pay for electricity.

So the way I figure it here’s what you do:

Step 1: You’ll need three address, one is yours (address A) the others (B and C) come from two address you know are occupied and have working electricity (which is not difficult to determine). You’ll also need the name of someone at address B or C.

Step 2: Call LADWP and say “Hi, I just moved and I want to change the address on my service.” They’ll ask for your current name and address (tell them the truth) then tell them you’ve moved to address B or C. What their system will do at this point is knock the real person at address B out of the system and replace their name with yours.

Step 3: (optional) If you want to make it extra confusing for them. Call them again and say you’re the actual person living at address B and change the address to address C. You may need the last for digits of the person at address B’s social security # to do this but I’m not 100% sure…though you could probably easily find this info if you dig through their mail enough. The idea here is to create confusion wherein if one of the other two people calls about the bill they have their name attached to a different address and the whole thing turns into a confusing cluster fuck for LADWP. If you’re lucky the people at the other address will keep paying their bills as normal, making the glitch even harder to detect.

Step 4: Now, you may begin receiving electric bills that don’t have your name on them. IGNORE THEM. You are not legally required to open bills (or any mail for that matter) that doesn’t have your name on it. In fact it is a FEDERAL OFFENSE to open mail addressed to other people. By ignoring the bill you are simply obeying the law. Wait a month or two (however long you feel like testing it) then call LADWP and go through the same scenario I did. They will apologize for the inconvenience and switch your information back*, update your bill, but if you speak up about it, there should be no late fee. You won’t have to pay for any electricity at the other address BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T EVER LIVING THERE.

*As I write this it occurs to me that you might be able to reset your bill entirely by just telling them you’re a new resident and have just moved in to your address. If someone has the balls try it and let me know.

That’s pretty much it. Like I said, I don’t know how foolproof this is, but at the very least it seems like a very viable way of staving off your electric bill without collecting late fees.

Now for a short bit of ranting.

For those of you who are afraid of this. Trust me when I say that the people I spoke to were very vehement in that they have absolutely NO WAY of checking on this. The reason I point this out and the reason this enrages me so is that in a state that’s gone flat broke (California) this is the sort of shit that probably costs the city and consumers a countless amount of money every year. I swear there’s no way you could pull this sort of scam on Time Warner Cable so why the hell can you pull it on the goddamn electric company?

It’s sad how lazy the people (organizations) we trust to watch over our day to day lives can be…

….*sigh* Sometimes I think I’m too smart to be an honest man. (-_^)

Dead Prez knows what I’m talking about.

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Written by 32523452345234673573

March 25, 2009 at 6:46 am