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Couple gets $180 gas bill for condo they sold 17 years ago

Terri Decarlo and her husband sold their Northeast Columbus condo in back in 2001. So imagine her surprise 17 years later when she received an almost $200 gas bill for that address. (WSYX/WTTE)

Terri Decarlo and her husband sold their Northeast Columbus condo in back in 2001.

So imagine her surprise 17 years later when she received an almost $200 gas bill for that address.

She called the utility company, Columbia Gas.

"You owe it," said Decarlo. "They kept saying you owe it. I kept saying we didn't own it. There have been five owners since then. It was like it fell on deaf ears."

Columbia Gas wanted $180.46.

"They said it doesn't matter. You signed up for that service. We said yes but we also called for a final reading. And but no one recorded that."

When they didn't pay, Columbia Gas turned them over to a collection agency.

That's when Decarlo called ABC6 On Your Side.

"I watch you all the time," said Decarlo. "And you get to the bottom, and people will talk to you."

We reached out to Columbia Gas.

Utility Spokeswoman Kelli Nowinsky said the issue was quickly found.

"We realized even though the account had been closed for 17 years, there was a property owner agreement attached to the account," she said.

She said many landlords have those to ensure the gas stays on between tenants.

Nowinsky said the Decarlos also had that agreement in place at a few other properties, and were about to get a few more bills.

"While we were looking through his account, we found 3 or 4 other bills, probably to the tune of $426," said Nowinsky.

"We wanted to do what was right for the customer, so we've erased all that debt and recalled it from collections for him."

That was great news for Decarlo.

"We really appreciate you taking the time to deal with it," she said. "It was a source of a lot of frustration."

Nowinsky said if you're moving, always call them to take the service out of your name.

You may also want to ask if there was a property owner agreement attached, and if there is, be sure it's cancelled.

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