General Question

chyna's avatar

Would you ever put a utility bill in your name for a friend?

Asked by chyna (43883points) April 24th, 2009

A friend of mine was asked by another friend to help out and put an electric bill in her name since he doesn’t have good enough credit to do it. She really doesn’t want to do it, but doesn’t know how to tell him. Have you ever put a bill in your own name for someone else and how did it turn out?

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26 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Never do this.
It ends with the person being on the hook for bills the other will eventually not pay.

Dog's avatar

VERY bad idea.

Your friend needs to be firm and say no.

This has “disaster” and “blemished credit” written all over it.

jrpowell's avatar

I have never heard of electric company refusing to turn on electricity for bad credit. 20 bucks says that they stiffed the utility in the past and that is why they can’t put it in their name.

I have had the phone company refuse to give me long distance due to my shitty credit. But they still turned on local service.

chyna's avatar

@johnpowell I was thinking this too when I heard the story/reasoning. I think it’s a bad idea too.

nads99's avatar

Well if they woe money on the bill,the company will not turn it on on less the balance is payed

LKidKyle1985's avatar

if the guy has bad enough credit that the electric company doesn’t even want him owing them money why would it be a good idea for that guy to owe your friend money. That is the worst idea I have ever heard. I wouldn’t even have thought twice about this. Tell your friend not to get sucked into this trap it will not end well and your friend will just end up owing a few hundred bucks for something he didn’t even use.

SeventhSense's avatar

No. Not even for family. If you can’t get credit from the electric company, you’ve got serious problems.

jrpowell's avatar

I don’t think they even run a credit check. But they do know if you owe them money. I have terrible credit and no utility besides Qwest has ever done a credit check. At least that I know of. If they will take me they will take anyone.

edit : I should make a point. I don’t buy the credit story. I think they owe the utility money and didn’t want to admit it so they lied and said it was because of bad credit. I wouldn’t let someone use my name to get something they fucked off in the past. It is easier to say that it was a random credit card bill from the past.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

The electricity company doesn’t run a “credit check” but they are able to check your payment history of past electricity bills you’ve had in your name.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

It sounds like a suspicious situation. Utility companies usually don’t refuse service due to bad credit otherwise a large portion of America would have no power.

chyna's avatar

I also have to wonder why this person didn’t ask his own family instead of a friend. Or maybe he did and they refused.

casheroo's avatar

No. Never.

And yeah, the fact that they are even asking is weird…they must owe to the electric company. Not cool.
then again, that’s the reason we get the cable bill in my name, because Comcast keeps saying my husband owes when we didn’t even live at the place..

lillycoyote's avatar

No, it’s a bad idea. It could leave your with the bill to pay and ruin his/her credit. I wouldn’t do it. If the person has bad credit the utility company will probably ask for a deposit. People who have bad credit either don’t pay their bills or don’t pay them on time. And your friend is trusting your other friend to pay his or her bill and pay it one time, something he or she has not been able to do in the past. I wouldn’t risk it.

Judi's avatar

He just has to pay an additional deposit. Tell her not to!!! I am an apartment manager and I can sense when this kind of bad news is happening. If he can’t get it in his name it’s probably because he has a delinquent utility bill out there. She absolutely must not do this!!! A utility bill can get over a thousand dollars before it’s shut off and she will be responsible.

Jeruba's avatar

No, no, no, no. Not ever.

knitfroggy's avatar

I wouldn’t if I was planning on keeping this person as a friend. Haven’t you ever seen People’s Court or Judge Judy? It ruins friendships and could end you up on a crappy tv court show!

buster's avatar

Hell no.

seekingwolf's avatar

Horrible idea.

I can understand perhaps loaning a little money to a friend to pay his bills while he’s in hard times, but putting your name on it? Ouch…that’s risking a lot of money and your good credit. Just don’t do it.

Jeruba's avatar

She doesn’t know how to tell him? The request itself is such a breach of etiquette and common sense that she almost doesn’t owe him a polite response.

How about this? “I value your friendship, but not enough to put my own credit at risk and possibly become liable for your debts. If you are unable to sustain your own credit in good enough standing to get utilities service, I would be very foolish indeed to let you use mine.”

jca's avatar

your friend may get stiffed and then the friendship will be gone, too.

when i was in high school i lent my library card to a friend who took out some books, one book she never returned. it was a $40 book, and she moved away (pre email days) and we lost touch. to this day i don’t think i can get a library card unless i pay. your friend should be firm and say no, i’m sorry.

chyna's avatar

@Jeruba Very good answer.

asmonet's avatar

Hell nah.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Like The_Compassionate_Heretic says, few utilities refuse to open an account because of poor credit, even no credit. As a teenager, I opened all my own utilities with no established credit, just put down deposit money.

Your uncomfortable friend would be better off lending money to help the other get set up to establish their own credit with the utility, if they really wanted to help within reason.

cak's avatar

I just got this question on my “questions for you” list – yeah – no. Never do this. Ack! I did it for a relative, once. I paid the account and closed it, just to save my credit.

Jeruba's avatar

Thank you, @chyna.

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