Renter finds out she’s been paying for her whole apartment complex’s utilities since 2021

panuwat phimpha/ShutterStock @vapestar69/TikTok (Licensed)

‘I was paying like $400 sometimes’: Renter finds out she’s been paying for her whole apartment complex’s utilities since 2021



Braden Bjella


Posted on Jan 23, 2024   Updated on Jan 22, 2024, 3:23 pm CST

A user on TikTok has sparked debate online after claiming that she recently discovered that she was overpaying for her utilities. Not only was she paying for her own apartment’s utilities, she says, but for her entire building.

Additionally, she says that she has been paying this inflated rate since December 2021.

“I’ve been paying for everyone’s heating, laundry, lights, for two f*cking years,” TikTok user @vapestar69 says in a video with over 2.1 million views.

In her initial video, she claims that she found the high prices concerning, though she was told by the power company that those were the prices that she should be expecting. She only discovered the error later upon trying to resolve a billing issue that came about due to issues with an ex-partner.

“I JUST THOUGHT THAT THE COST OF LIVING WAS THAT HIGH,” the TikToker exclaimed in the caption.

Immediately, users in the comments began to question how such a thing was possible.

“So were the other tenants not wondering where their electricity bill was?” asked a user.

“How did you not know?? Genuinely??????” questioned a second.

That said, some alleged that this was more common than one would like to think.

“As a person who works for a utility company this can happen,” stated a commenter.

“This happens too frequently,” declared a second.

In the TikToker’s case, she posted a series of videos explaining how she got into her unfortunate situation.

@vapestar69 I JUST THOUGHT THAT THE COST OF LIVING WAS THAT HIGH #apartmentstorytime ♬ original sound – Vapestar69

According to @vapestar69, after she and her partner split up, he claimed that he had transferred all of the bills to her name. Upon trying to pay her utilities, she realized that this was not the case. However, the company providing her utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), informed her that they could not open a new account for her until the previous account had been closed.

Frustrated, she later tried to open a new account, only this time, she was able to do so with ease. The problem, she later discovered, was that she was opening an account for the building, not for her individual apartment. This led to, she claims, her being responsible for the utility payments for the small building, which she says could be around $400 per month.

Thankfully, it appears that she is in the process of resolving this issue—though her refunds may not come promptly.

“SDG&E, the gas and electric company, is saying that I am going to get my money back,” she says. “However, they’re also saying it’s going to be, probably, a lengthy process, because they have to go through a backlog of two years of billing and essentially rebill me for what I was supposed to be paying. And they also have to verify with the landlord that he’s the building owner.”

She further states that there will likely be trouble verifying any information with her ex-partner, as he had previously “ghosted” her about move-out details for a year and a half. As a result of this, the TikToker says she is “genuinely worried I’m not going to see that money for a long time.”

@vapestar69 Replying to @name lmk if yall want thr ex boyfriend wifi saga because that is also insane ☠️ #apartmentstorytime ♬ original sound – Vapestar69

Owing to these potential issues, many users in the comments section encouraged her to pursue this case further.

“Lawyer up to start collecting records of what you paid,” said a user.

“I would still lawyer up. The cost of money you should get back will be worth getting one,” echoed an additional viewer. “I work for utilities trust me.”

The Daily Dot reached out to SDG&E via email and the TikToker via TikTok DM.

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*First Published: Jan 23, 2024, 3:00 am CST