I moved into my current apartment in 2009, and I had to pay a $200 deposit towards my City of Austin (COA) utilities. It's been a year - now where's my deposit back?
I haven't received any fun letters in the mail proclaiming, "A year has come and gone, so get ready to have some fun with your $200 deposit refund!" I suppose I'll have to call them and speak to some rude customer service rep and beg for the deposit back.
I shouldn't have had to pay that stupid deposit in the first place. When I used to live in a smaller part of Texas, utilities deposits were unheard of. But I guess COA feels it needs to stick with its "higher cost of living" mentality for this city.
When I first moved to Austin in 2008, I wasn't charged a utilities deposit, so that was nice. But when I moved to my new place in 2009, my final utilities bill for the previous apartment got lost in the mail. So I didn't pay it on time, since I obviously hadn't received it.
So all of a sudden, COA decided to charge me this $200 deposit on my new apartment. I called them and asked them why, especially since I was always such a good customer. This rude customer service lady said it was because of that one late charge I had made. I told her it got lost in the mail, but she said that I could have called them and asked for my balance.
Who the [heck] would call and ask how much they owed?
When I asked to speak to a supervisor, or at least someone nice, she said, "Look, there's nothing that anyone can do for you about the deposit. The only way to change it is to write a letter to the legislature and have them change the law."
This is definitely the worst law ever. One late payment and all of a sudden I'm out $200?
"So when do I get my deposit back?" I asked the lady.
"After one year, as long as you don't have any more late payments."
That was one year ago. Who knows what COA has been doing with my $200. If they invested it at, say, 10%, they'd have made a $20 profit out of it.
Good for them. Now give it back to me, so that a simple Austinite like me who COA is supposed to support can invest that money myself, so that I can feed my babies (okay, so I don't have children, but it's the principle of the matter).
I need to write a letter to the legislature now, and I suggest you do the same, Dear Reader.