Ah, the trials and tribulations of owning your own business. When you work for somebody else, or you work as an independent contractor where somebody else is responsible for the bills, you just don’t know about this stuff.
But when you are the one in charge, and you get to call all the shots, well, you get to also pay all the bills.
And it’s no different for Nicole.
She is upset.
Her gas bill for the salon (we are not talking about her basic business here, please keep that in mind) is a hefty $67, when her usage was zero. How can this be? How dare they? How awful it is!
There are two charges.
The first is a basic service charge of $40.
Did Nicole think that the meter was free? Did she think that the guy comes out and reads the meter (and he has to do that whether she uses any gas or not, because how else would he know?) does it as a volunteer job? Did she think that the clerk who sends her the bill is on food stamps?
The other fee is for the line tracker.
Does Nicole think those gas lines just sit there unused and therefore have no wear on them? They never need to be upgraded or replaced? I actually have a friend whose job is to walk those gas lines every single day (I’m not sure how often he completes his rounds and begins again) and he uses a detection device to make certain there are no leaks. Every day. It’s a full time job. He has to be paid.
Somebody tries to explain that she is in business and business accounts do pay more for stuff like this than home accounts, because they tend to use more.
But of course, it sucks and businesses should not be allowed to “get away with this.” You know, for charging customers for providing their services. Nicole wants gas available at her business whenever she wishes to use it. For that convenience, she has to pay.
Oh, yeah. Nicole rents her space. Her landlord wants the gas left on. That’s part of the lease agreement, I would imagine.
Yeah, this is totally brilliant. It’s a conspiracy and we should charge the utilities for the privilege of providing us with electricity and gas. How about water lines? Let’s charge them for putting in water lines. Can Nicole’s readers get any dumber?
And we have here the Conversation of the Day, in which two Nicoles share their complete and total ignorance. Nicole Naugler believes she should only have to pay $10 or $15 monthly because she absolutely knows what it costs the gas company to make gas available to her whenever she wants it. She knows all the costs involved.
And Nicole the Other is just amazing.
The gas is just there in the ground and they don’t really “deliver” it. It just sort of seeps up out of the ground and magically enters the furnace or something. How dare they charge money for it!
I’m not sure it’s possible to even begin to educate these two people.
But the idiocy of all this is probably readily apparent.
I am reminded of the time when our son first moved out of the house and got his own place. He called us one day, just in a stew. His big beef? He’d been to the store to purchase toilet paper. He had no idea what toilet paper costs. I guess he just thought it was provided by Jesus or something. He was absolutely livid because he had to spend his very hard-earned money (and it was hard to make it) on something that was going to be flushed down the toilet.
I told him to be glad he was male and didn’t have to use it for everything. I tried very hard not to laugh where he could hear me.
But I digress.
The landlord has some spaces he wants to keep rented. They have to be heated. He has chosen to heat them with natural gas. If doing that resulted in huge bills that his tenants could not afford, you know what would happen?
All his tenants would find other spaces to rent and they’d leave.
So he picks the most affordable solution possible.
In addition, if the gas company over-charged and gouged its customers to the point that, gasp!, electricity was cheaper, you know what would happen? They would lose all their customers to electric furnaces and water heaters and dryers and stoves.
To stay in business, the gas company has to compete.
You know what they call this?
Free market. Deregulation.