Today I’m going to talk about options with your utility bills. Living in Canada, we get some pretty extreme weather – any where from 30 C to minus 30 C (It doesn’t get this cold where I live, thank goodness). So, that means we can rack up some pretty high heating bills in the winter and air conditioning bills in the summer. This post isn’t going to cover how to cut those costs – but what to do if you can’t pay your bills.
So,what do you do?
1. Have your most recent bill or bills in front of you. You can’t get started if you don’t have your account number and billing information.
2. Call the company. They all should have contact information on their bills – you’ll likely want to call either a billing number if they have one, or a customer service number.
3. Explain the situation. You don’t have to get into tons details about how you got into your present situation – you simply have to explain that right now, you can’t cover your bills as they are, and ask what your options are.
4. As with credit card companies, if the person on the phone can’t help you, ask for someone else. Utility companies are less likely than credit card companies to shave money off your payments, but some of them do offer hardship programs, or options that allow to spread costs out evenly over the year.
Have you ever had to negotiate with a utility company? What have you done to make your utility bills more manageable?