5 On Your Side

Customer nearly burned by bill for gas stove

Posted February 27, 2013 5:36 p.m. EST
Updated February 27, 2013 6:03 p.m. EST

— A cozy fireplace is always important when it’s frosty outside.

"You know, it’s so warm and inviting in the winter," Durham resident Chris Gillette said.

He always wanted a cast iron stove and saw an interest-free offer on PSNC Energy’s website.

"How could I pass that up, you know?" Gillette said. "That’s a great deal."

He then called, ordered the product and signed a contract for interest-free financing for 12 months. The total cost was $1,970.

It was installed in October. When his monthly bill did not show the charges in November or December, he called PSNC customer service.

"I wanted to, you know, get it going, and I wanted to get it paid off, you know, in time, because I didn’t want to pay any interest," Gillette said.

He says he was not told to worry. Then in February, the salesman called.

"Mr. Gillette, there’s been a mistake," said Gillette, recalling the salesman’s words.

The man said PSNC would have to charge him interest on the stove – 18.9 percent.

"I said, 'You gotta be kidding me.' I said the contract is interest free for a year, and he said, 'Well, it wasn’t supposed to be.' I was mad, I was really mad. That’s a lot of money," said Gillette.

That’s when he called 5 On Your Side.

PSNC spokeswoman Angie Townsend told us the salesman made a mistake. She said Gillette’s contract was flagged when it first came back to the office and added the company has not received any other complaints. She admits it shouldn’t have taken four months to tell Gillette that PSNC will honor the contract.

Gillette is thrilled to have this behind him, and for the toasty nights ahead.

“I love the stove,” he said.