The gas was still flowing at Jennifer DeGraff's house in Crystal Lake on Monday morning, nine months after she first asked Nicor to turn it off and more than a month after she was featured in What's Your Problem?
DeGraff filed for bankruptcy last spring, hoping to wipe the slate clean.
Her husband found a job in Texas, and the family decided to move after yielding the house to the bank.
On May 2, she called Nicor and asked to cancel service. Because she had been on a budget plan and was up to date, Nicor sent her a check for $129.49 in June, reflecting what she had overpaid before canceling service.
But the service did not get canceled, and in November Nicor sent a new bill for $92.86.
With the gas still flowing in January, despite her requests to cancel, DeGraff wrote to the Problem Solver for help.
A Nicor spokeswoman explained at the time that although DeGraff had turned over the house to the bank, she and her husband remained the owners of record because the paperwork had not yet been processed.
The bank asked Nicor to keep the gas on, even though the bills still went to DeGraff.
After the Problem Solver first inquired about the case, a Nicor representative called DeGraff and promised to erase her bill and turn off the gas on one condition: she had to sign and return a waiver absolving Nicor of responsibility for damage should freezing temperatures cause pipes to burst.
DeGraff said she signed the waiver and put it in the mail. At the time, she assumed everything was taken care of.
On Friday, she received a new bill from Nicor for $221.08.
She immediately emailed What's Your Problem?
"I think it's rather gutsy or stupid of them to do this, but I haven't decided which," she said.
The Problem Solver called Nicor spokeswoman Annette Martinez, who promised to again look into the case.
On Monday, a Nicor representative called DeGraff and said the utility never received the waiver in January. The representative asked her to send an email confirming she wanted to cancel service and that she would not hold Nicor responsible for any resulting damage.
She sent the email to Nicor at 11:09 a.m. Monday and forwarded a copy to the Problem Solver.
"I think it's ridiculous," DeGraff said. "If they had turned it off when I (first) asked them to, there wouldn't have been any issue."
Martinez said the case is closed.
"We've got the confirmation we need for our records, and they're not going to be billed for anything," Martinez said.
Loan overpayment repaid