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Shredding paper was my best consumer experience this week, while dealing with my electrical utility was frustrating

By Rita R. Robison

My paper shredder works now, which makes me happy. However, talking to my electrical utility is less than inspiring.

My best: Getting my paper shredder to work

Years ago, I bought a paper shredder from Office Depot. It’s never worked very well. Twice, I’ve taken it back to the store to see if they could show me how to get it to work. Both times, the sales associates were able to get it to run. The second one showed me a lever that needs to be in a certain position for the shredding to occur.

Paper ShredderWhen I got home, I figured it out and shredded lots of paper. I was extremely happy. I shredded about a third of the recycling bin full of paper I needed to do.

However, I had a problem. When I was shredding receipts, I put too many in. It jammed the shredder.

I left it for a couple of weeks, but finally couldn’t stand the paper shredder on my dining room table or the recycling container in my rec room.

I got out a skinny fork to scrape out the jammed receipts, then a skewer. Finally, I used one of the ends of a large paper clip. It worked.

I finished the bin full of paper and dumped the shredded paper into my recycling barrel.

What a great accomplishment. I’m glad I persisted for years. I paid about $65 for the shredder and didn’t want to spend money another one.

My worst: Having a missing check

When I received the bill from my electrical utility, it said I owed twice the amount of my monthly payment plan. When I called about it, the company said my last check hadn’t been received.

The investor-owner utility’s service has declined since a foreign conglomerate purchased it. So I asked the sales associate whether the company lost my check. She was indignant, saying it wasn’t possible.

Maybe I misplaced the check before I mailed it. Maybe it was lost in the mail. However, it’s possible the utility lost it.

Copyright 2012, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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Ruby Badcoe

Your blue paper shredder is so cute. Finally finding out how to get it to work efficiently is something to be happy about. Paper jams are fairly common when operating these kinds of gadgets. Don't worry, I am sure you will be able to resolve these minor operational glitches without any fuss. :)

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