Understanding the Role of Your Utility Companies
On a particularly cold day in the middle of winter Mrs. Smith noticed that her heater was not cycling on. She turned the thermostat up but nothing happened. Beginning to worry as the outside temperature drops, she remembered an advertisement for a heating company that she found wedged in her screen door a few days before. She called and a concerned repairman soon arrived. After a quick look at her heating unit, he informed Mrs. Smith that it was leaking carbon monoxide and was beyond repair. With great concern, he tells her that she is in immediate danger of fatal suffocation if the unit is not replaced. Frightened, Mrs. Smith signed an emergency waiver and wrote a check while the repairman arranged by phone for the immediate delivery of a new unit for installation.
TIPS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION:
- Before you call any private repair agency, remember that you can and should call "The Gas Company" first. There is no charge for "The Gas Company" to come out, diagnose the problem, and in some instances even do small repairs.
- Most commercial heating/air conditioning companies donít carry the expensive equipment necessary to test for carbon monoxide. No one can tell if there is carbon monoxide leaking by just looking at it. The Gas Company has carbon monoxide testers and will come test your home if you fear a leak.
- Donít let any utility worker into your home without verifying his or her identity. All utility employees carry photo identification, wear uniforms (except GTE), and drive marked vehicles.
- Always watch what repair people are doing while in your home. Imposters working in pairs keep the occupant busy talking in one part of the house while the other hunts for cash, credit cards, jewelry and other valuables in other rooms.
- Have a friend or relative present when two or more service people are in your home.
- Donít panic if one of your appliances doesnít work. Take your time to get the proper assistance, 2 or more estimates, and check a workerís business license.
- Donít waive your three day right to cancel any transaction.
For Information or to Schedule a Service:
The Gas Company can be reached at 1-800-427-2200
Southern California Edison's number is 1-800-655-4555
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