Thanks for all the excellent feedback. I enjoy how these threads often prompt a person to consider different perspectives and angles.
First of all, I received an email from DF earlier today. She decided not to do anything, and trusted that if they are having serious problems they would make some arrangements with the electric company. I agreed, and told her that it’s not something she should get involved in.
After reading the comments, I decided to try something. I haven’t had to call utility companies in quite a while. I was curious as to how much information they will give via phone. So, I called the electric company and followed the automated prompts.
“Please punch in your account number or the 10 digit telephone number associated with the account.”
(I punched in my phone number.)
“For balance or payment information, press 1.” There were several other options, including speaking to a representative. I pressed 1 and was told my balance and date/amount of the last payment.
I tried the same thing for gas and cable companies. However, each of those asked for an account number or last 4 digits of SSN prior to giving a balance or payment information.
Anyway – yes, her heart is in the right place, but I don’t think she should get involved in their financial issues.