Friday, June 29, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

The gas was finally restored yesterday evening after finding a special plumber yesterday morning. A plumber who could come out the same day and fix the "leak." I use quotes because I am still not convinced that there was an actual leak. I spelled out a few of the reasons the other day (no odor, no dead grass/plants) but there are a few more things to add fuel to the fire. (1) We now have a new meter. The type that can be read by a passing vehicle rather than by a pedestrian employee of the gas company. How convenient. (2) Our next door neighbor's gas was shut off the day after ours because they "suspected a leak in the service line." Again, no odor, no dead plants. The gas company also added that they would need to move their meter outside (currently in the basement) and left a new meter sitting by the front of their house.

I really believe that the gas company wanted to upgrade all of the meters and, at the same time, make sure that the service lines were all upgraded to new plastic lines. How better to do that than to take your house hostage by shutting off the gas and claiming a leak. With outside lines, a leak would be difficult to prove or disprove, making it hard for people to argue. And with them holding the only key to restored gas service, they have us held captive.

I recall quite a barrage of notices in the last few months advertising the line insurance. We considered it and then dismissed it, deciding the the level of small print probably excluded them from having to fix the line anyway. Why pay for nothing? But perhaps they were looking for everyone to pay protection money. You know, mafioso style. "Hey lady, we can offer you protection for your gas lines if you pay a small fee. Cause, you know, leaks. They just sometimes kinda happen."

My neighbor wants to call the local TV station to investigate. I'm starting to think that's a good idea.


Jenn said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! Does that mean I'll see you on TV? How exciting!

Our gas company changed our meter last year so that it could be read by a passing vehicle, too. They said they did it, and our bill now says it's read electronically, but no one had to come into our house to do it. In fact, I never saw anyone do it, period.

Why do they want to switch to plastic lines? Wouldn't they break more easily? Ours appear to be metal.

Anonymous said...

DEFINITELY a conspiracy! You need to be the one who breaks it to the public!

Anonymous said...

Definitely sounds suspicious. Our neighborhood's meters were all changed two years ago to the exterior read-from-a-remote style. The gas company just gave notices to everyone that it would happen (and that they would need access to the house if the meter happened to be inside) and it was done. That they're making you pay for a gasfitter because the new system is more convenient for them is unreasonable.

midlife mommy said...

It does sound suspicious. I so hate being the victim of a monopoly.