It’s the belief that local is better and generally I agree with this. However, I tend to get all “pie in the sky” about it because I forget even local people are greedy bastards who care more about the money than anything else.
WARNING: LOTS OF SWEARING AHEAD. I’M PISSED.
So Kidder Fuel out of Northfield is where we get propane for the stove and oil/kerosene for heat. They’ve been our gas dealer since we moved here almost five years ago. From the beginning their customer service has sucked but we’ve put up with it for two reasons. First, there aren’t many choices around here. Second, they’re local. There are a couple other companies out there but they’re bigger and their customer service isn’t great from what I gather and because they can’t offer the services we want.
Last winter we had the most snow ever. I’m not exaggerating here. It’s documented. Kidder were babies about the driveway. We ran out of propane twice because they refuse to come up. At one point I told them “I don’t give a fuck if you have to strap a tank on your back and walking up the fucking driveway, I want you up here now.” Wolf and I thought we’d be proactive after last winter’s debacle by requesting a second propane tank last spring. We had to argue with them to get them to bring us a second. I reminded them, repeatedly, of the driveway and how we didn’t want to fight with them again this winter. Finally they brought one while we were away in Maine. We’ve been paying it off a little every month.
This morning I got up and put the oven on preheat for my breakfast. I thought it was taking an awful long time for it to heat up so I opened it and found it cold. I checked the stove top and it started without issue. I thought at first we’d run out of propane but then I realized that couldn’t be the truth because the stove was working. I called Kidder and asked them to come out and look at it.
Me: my oven doesn’t work but the stove top does.
Kidder: you have a balance on your account.
Me: Yes I know. We’ve been paying on it every month. I don’t think we’ve missed a payment.
Kidder: It’s past due.
Me: Again, I know this. We’ve been giving you money every month.
Kidder: We need a commitment from you.
Me: I am committed to paying the bill. I have been sending you money every month.
Kidder: you need it off. How much can we expect?
Me: When are you sending someone out to look at the oven?
Kidder: we need the balance paid off first.
Me: So you’re not coming out?
Kidder: We have bills to pay too.
Me: I was unemployed for over a year. I just got a job two weeks ago. Despite my unemployment we’ve been sending you money every month. EVERY MONTH. Not once have we skipped a payment. We send you what we can to the point where other bills have not been paid so YOU CAN GET YOUR FUCKING MONEY. You know what? Forget it. Don’t send a technician. Because the customer service sucks at Kidder.
Kidder: [hangs up].
Then I call Wolf because I’m *furious* at this point. I tell him not to cow to them. They can wait. Anyone who refuses to fix a necessary household appliance — and I think the oven is necessary — because they want their money can FUCKING WAIT. I tell Wolf we’re canceling their service come spring because I’m DONE dealing with a company who is so greedy they’ll willing to let us go without our oven so they can get their moola.
Thing is, it’s $100 we owe. It’s not like it’s a million and it’s not like we haven’t been paying. Every single month we send them money. We could totally blow them off but no, we send them money. We take money out of the food budget and out of the budget for the medical bills to be paid. Obviously they don’t give a shit. They want their fucking money.
Wolf is the one who sits down to do the monthly bills. If it were me, and I might just take over that shitty chore, Kidder will get a penny taped to their invoice each month. Companies who push me around like that get put to the bottom of the pile. I won’t bow to their pressure. Wolf will but I won’t. We can live without the oven. It’ll suck but we can.
I was planning on calling the place where we bought the stove to ask them to come out and service it but Wolf called Kidder and cowed to them. Now they’re sending a technician.
I want spring to come so we can warm up, send the cats out, get in the soil, open the doors and windows, and to tell Kidder to take their shitty customer service and stick it up their greedy asses.