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Sorting Utilities

Sorting Utilities

Old Sep 29th 2009, 7:15 am
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Default Sorting Utilities

Husband tried to sort out getting the electricity supply put in his name before he arrives in Indiana next Tuesday and bless him he got a tad confused by it all. After sending them an email and explaining that he did not have a SSN they sent him a form saying he had to get it notarized and then send it back to them before the could get the supply in his name. Of course he did all this without talking to me. I said that I had a SSN that I got in 1994 when I was an exchange student and wondered if it would be easier for me to have the power supply in my name. So last night we made a call to the power company.

Husband starts by explaining that he does not have SSN but I do and would it be better for me to be on the electric account. They say they have to speak to me. I then start chatting to Dwayne. After a few questions he asks if it would be alright if he 'carried out a credit check' on me to see if I need to pay a security deposit. I say 'fine as I have zero credit rating in USA as I only got SSN to open a bank account in 1994 and never actually got around to opening the bank account!' Dwayne goes through the credit check stuff and comes back and says 'OK account is open in your name. You need to pay a security deposit of $125 within 90 days. We will go round on Tuesday to take a reading and will send the bills to your address in Carmel' I then get passed on to another guy who attempts to get me to sign up to other stuff with them but I say I want to sort that out on arrival as I am in the UK making the call and long distance calls are not cheap. He laughs and says 'OK, You have a great day. Bye.'

Is $125 security deposit normal for this kind of thing? I was expecting it to be higher if I am honest! After all that I am not sure how husband will get on next week when he arrives and tries to sort out everything else like phone etc. Will a SSN be needed for other utilities?
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 7:28 am
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Default Re: Sorting Utilities

Originally Posted by SarahG1976 View Post
Husband tried to sort out getting the electricity supply put in his name before he arrives in Indiana next Tuesday and bless him he got a tad confused by it all. After sending them an email and explaining that he did not have a SSN they sent him a form saying he had to get it notarized and then send it back to them before the could get the supply in his name. Of course he did all this without talking to me. I said that I had a SSN that I got in 1994 when I was an exchange student and wondered if it would be easier for me to have the power supply in my name. So last night we made a call to the power company.

Husband starts by explaining that he does not have SSN but I do and would it be better for me to be on the electric account. They say they have to speak to me. I then start chatting to Dwayne. After a few questions he asks if it would be alright if he 'carried out a credit check' on me to see if I need to pay a security deposit. I say 'fine as I have zero credit rating in USA as I only got SSN to open a bank account in 1994 and never actually got around to opening the bank account!' Dwayne goes through the credit check stuff and comes back and says 'OK account is open in your name. You need to pay a security deposit of $125 within 90 days. We will go round on Tuesday to take a reading and will send the bills to your address in Carmel' I then get passed on to another guy who attempts to get me to sign up to other stuff with them but I say I want to sort that out on arrival as I am in the UK making the call and long distance calls are not cheap. He laughs and says 'OK, You have a great day. Bye.'

Is $125 security deposit normal for this kind of thing? I was expecting it to be higher if I am honest! After all that I am not sure how husband will get on next week when he arrives and tries to sort out everything else like phone etc. Will a SSN be needed for other utilities?
We paid a $180 deposit for Electricity and $200 for Gas, so a little higher but around the same. I was expecting a lot higher too. The Electricity was more difficult to get Hubby had to appear in person at an office, but Gas was arranged over the phone and online.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 7:33 am
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Default Re: Sorting Utilities

I said to Dwayne that this whole process was very different to the UK. When I told him what we have to do here he was very surprised. Why is it so different? Why don't we have to undergo credit checks here and why do they have to have credit checks in US? All quite perplexing!
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Sorting Utilities

Originally Posted by SarahG1976 View Post
I said to Dwayne that this whole process was very different to the UK. When I told him what we have to do here he was very surprised. Why is it so different? Why don't we have to undergo credit checks here and why do they have to have credit checks in US? All quite perplexing!
Yes a deposit is normal for gas, electric and phone. A credit check is done to find out what your financial status is ie do you owe any money and if so to who and how much.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: Sorting Utilities

Originally Posted by SarahG View Post
Is $125 security deposit normal for this kind of thing? I was expecting it to be higher if I am honest! After all that I am not sure how husband will get on next week when he arrives and tries to sort out everything else like phone etc. Will a SSN be needed for other utilities?
Absolutely normal. After having moved from one city to another and back again, and having left and returned to a certain utility provider, as a life long USC with a decent credit history, I still had to pay another deposit to a utility company I had used before and had excellent history with. Granted, I had to pay $75 (I had to pay $150 deposit with the other city utility). The only good thing about is that in a years time (with both utilities) I had the option of getting the whole deposit returned with interest or having the deposit (with interest) credited to my account.

You will find that you'll need an SSN for alot of stuff. Make sure you put both of your names on all accounts you open. At the very least, you're helping establish credit. In most cases, companies will accept just one SSN, while asking you to update your account with your spouse's SSN when he gets one.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Sorting Utilities

Originally Posted by SarahG View Post
I said to Dwayne that this whole process was very different to the UK. When I told him what we have to do here he was very surprised. Why is it so different? Why don't we have to undergo credit checks here and why do they have to have credit checks in US? All quite perplexing!
Make sure his name is on the account as an authorized user. Otherwise he won't be able to do anything to/with the accounts if it is only in your name. They won't give him any info if he's not listed as a user. Likewise for all utility accounts, bank accounts, credit cards, etc.
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Old Sep 29th 2009, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: Sorting Utilities

Originally Posted by sunflwrgrl13 View Post
Make sure his name is on the account as an authorized user. Otherwise he won't be able to do anything to/with the accounts if it is only in your name. They won't give him any info if he's not listed as a user. Likewise for all utility accounts, bank accounts, credit cards, etc.
he can use his passport number if they need a number till he gets a SSN, or just use the generic foreigner number.

The deposit ain't bad...much better to expect the highend and not have to pay it than the other way around
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