Anybody else ever had an experience like this?
I had this exact experience. Back when I was just out of med school, I had no credit whatsoever. The power companyt made me pay a $100 deposit, which would be refunded after a year of on-time payment. Since my power bill at the time was about $40, a year later I had a few months of negative balances because they just creditted the deposit back to the account and I spent it off over a few months.