One of the first things Tricia Klebba did when she moved into her new Portage Park apartment Feb. 15 was call ComEd to put the electric bill in her name.
The ComEd representative then transferred her to Peoples Gas so she could set up her gas service.
Several days later, the gas company mailed her a form asking for proof of her lease.
Klebba said she returned the form and her landlord called to request the account be transferred from his name to hers.
Everything was fine until April 1, when Klebba noticed her apartment was starting to get a tad chilly.
"I didn't realize it at first," she said. "Then I noticed my stove wasn't working."
She called Peoples Gas and was told her service had been shut off because her account was still "pending." To get the gas flowing again, she'd have to schedule a technician to visit.
The earliest available time slot, she said she was told, was the morning of April 4, three days away. She agreed to the appointment because she felt she had no other choice.
She took time off work to be there when the technician arrived.
"I stayed home in the morning and no one showed up," Klebba said. "I called my landlord and he called Peoples Gas again and they told him there was never an appointment."
So Klebba went to work.
At about 3 p.m. that day she received a voicemail saying someone from Peoples Gas was at her door, she said. By then, she was too far from home to let the technician in, so her heat stayed off.
Upset and cold, Klebba emailed What's Your Problem? on Friday morning.
"Now they're saying no one can come out until next week," she said that afternoon. "I set all this up in February. They're saying it's pending but they can't give me any answers."
Klebba said it was unfair she should go more than a week without gas when she did everything she was asked.
Without heat, her apartment dipped to 55 degrees at night, she said. When she asked to move up her appointment time, she was told her situation "is not urgent," she said.
"It's kind of cold when you're trying to sit at home," she said. "And I can't cook because I have a gas stove. I guess the whole thing is it should never have been shut off. It should have been transferred to my name from my landlord."
The Problem Solver called Peoples Gas spokeswoman Jennifer Block on Friday afternoon. Block promised to look into Klebba's situation.
A short time later, a Peoples representative called Klebba to say a technician would be dispatched soon.
"The guy called me and he was really nice and apologized and said they'd have someone out today for sure," Klebba said late Friday.
Within hours, a technician arrived at Klebba's apartment and restored service.
Block said Peoples' records show the building's owner scheduled a service cutoff shortly before Klebba called the utility to say she was leasing the second-floor unit. Block said the company's policy for buildings listed as both commercial and residential properties requires proof of ownership or responsibility for the property before an account can be opened.
"Unfortunately, as we were waiting to receive the documents from Ms. Klebba, the service to the building was shut off per the owner's initial request," Block said.
"We are in the process of updating our system to reflect the building has recently been converted to individual heating units," she said.
"Peoples Gas is very sorry for any inconvenience this issue may have caused Ms. Klebba and appreciate her patience and cooperation as we worked to restore the natural gas service for her unit," Block said.