I could very easily have gotten by power turned off by Dominion Virginia Power simply because of a mistake that one of their other customers recently made. This person apparently used Dominion’s online change-of-address form and erroneously put in my address as their new address. Dominion then went ahead and switched the account for my house to this other person’s name without ever contacting me to verify the change. I began to suspect that something was wrong when a bill from Dominion addressed to this person was mailed to my house twice this month. Both times I wrote “wrong address for recipient” on the envelope and sent it back.
But then I really got suspicious when I hadn’t received my bill more than two weeks after I normally get it. It’s only when I called Dominion that they told me about the switchover. Had I been a little less proactive and that person had not paid the bill on time (which they couldn’t, since Dominion was unable to reach them at their correct address), my power would have been shut off and I would have been left wondering what happened. Dominion needs to modify its procedures for changing customer accounts at a particular location. When someone requests to take over the account at a given address, the person most recently associated with the account at that address should be contacted to verify the change. Mistakes happen. But there should always be safeguards in place to catch them early and mitigate their consequences.