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Small business owner's heat up and running after Dominion Energy mishap

SANDY, Utah (ABC4 News) - A small business owner is speaking out after Dominion Energy shut off the heat to his auto shop, with what he says, was without warning.

Ryan Silvernail owns Tunex Complete Car Care.

Silvernail said he had to shut down his business for an entire day after his heat was shut off.

"All of a sudden, yesterday, I get them showing up, saying they're shutting it off, or I can pay them hundreds of dollars -- my choice," explained Silvernail.

After much back-and-forth with Dominion Energy to figure out the problem, they realized another business setup an account and accidentally used Silvernail's shop address.

"Our addresses are pretty close so I can understand how they made that mistake," he said.

Dominion Energy didn't know the other business gave them the wrong address because they never double checked that the address given was correct. The system the energy company operates through also doesn't notify them that of a problem if they put in an address that matches an existing account.

ABC4's Brittany Johnson spoke with Dominion Energy over the phone.

She was told Dominion Energy "doesn't have the manpower to verify someone's address."

Dominion Energy says the company was still sending bills to Silvernail's business for that second garage.

Silvernail admits the bills stopped coming, but he never noticed because he was still receiving a bill for the first garage.

Dominion Energy says they sent several notices to the address of the second garage, for the owner to pay up, including leaving door hangers with "shut off" notices.

According to Silvernail, there were never any notices left anywhere on his property.

"Nobody was getting a bill but this account was going delinquent. They never contacted him, they never contacted me," Silvernail said.

Dominion Energy said they also didn't think anything was wrong because Silvernail paid a closing bill.

Silvernail said he didn't notice he was paying a closing bill because "the font is so small," and thought he was paying a regular bill.

The representative for Dominion Energy admits the company made a mistake and says the case with Silvernail is "unusual" and "usually never happens." 

"Until I spoke with the final person at Dominion, I received no help. They could not have cared less," he said passionately. 

Silvernail said he's sharing his story so this doesn't happen to anyone else.

"I'm sick and tired of seeing big businesses push the smaller businesses out and taking advantage of older people and taking advantage of people who don't have the knowledge and experience to do this -- to fight back."


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