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I’ve got a juicy one for y’all today!

The scoop

We live in Texas and suffer from a condition known as “OhWhatInTheWorld-iosis.” It’s a condition that gives me heart palpitations each time I see my energy bill, particularly in the summer. Our A/C is a big energy sucker during the summer, and I’m always on the hunt for new ways to save money on our energy bill.

Imagine my Picky little delight when I found a solar program through our energy company! We’re required to use the city as our energy company, and I was kind of shocked that they were doing something as innovative as a solar program.

I read up on the program and my jaw dropped. The city would install solar panels on our roof–free of charge–and use them to generate electricity. We would sell electricity back to the grid and see a big savings on our energy bill. We didn’t have to pay the large upfront cost of buying solar panels. And if the solar panels were damaged or broke–who cares?! They aren’t mine!

They had me at “energy savings” and I was drooling like a maniac. The solar program was still in beta, so I applied and patiently waited to hear back.




Dealing with people

A few months went by and I forgot about the solar panel application. Then one day I got an email saying our home was approved, and they wanted to do a site visit. Immediately after that, I got an email saying the site visit was scheduled for next week, so I went along my merry way, excited about the prospect of energy savings.

To my surprise, I received an extremely rude phone call the next day from the energy company. I was accused of being unresponsive and delaying their schedule. Mind you, they emailed me on a Sunday and this was the next Tuesday, after I thought everything was scheduled and hunky-dory.

I ironed things out with the rep and explained that there must have been a misunderstanding. She was still incredibly rude, but I shook it off, since I was excited about the solar panels.

That is, until I mentioned it to Mr. Picky Pincher.

“So wait,” he said, “This person was rude to you, accused you of stuff, and then didn’t know how to schedule an appointment? And you want these people to install expensive panels on our expensive roof? No.”

I realized he was right. It was obvious that we couldn’t trust these people to set up an appointment and treat us like human beings. How were they going to treat us once their solar panels were on our roof?

I canceled the site visit and our application, explaining that I was very dissatisfied with their customer service. Naturally they were surprised. But aren’t they always?

It’s not always worth it

Yeah, I’m kinda bummed that the free solar program didn’t work out. But holy cow, can you imagine trying to deal with horrible customer service with people who are working on your roof? Aha, no thanks.

The lesson here is that you don’t need to put up with crap for the sake of saving money. We only spend our money and time on things that matter. For me, that means investing my money and time with people who do quality customer service. It’s a big red flag if someone can’t even set up an appointment without treating me like I’m 12.

As far as our solar aspirations, who knows? Maybe we’ll buy solar panels one day. But it’s clear that we won’t have anything to do with these people.

We want to know: Have you ever turned down a money-saving opportunity because of a bad gut feeling?

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