Conective's billing problem may lastgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Conectiv billing problems may last
By BILL YINGLING Staff reporter 02/09/2000
Conectiv's billing troubles, which have angered customers and frustrated regulators for more than a month, could continue into the summer, a company executive Tuesday told the Delaware Public Service Commission.
Since the company installed the system Dec. 11, customers have complained of exorbitant bills, long waits to talk to company representatives and rude service.
Barbara Graham, Conectiv's senior vice president of shared services, said the utility is gradually improving its new computer billing system and customers may see improvements during the next two months.
But it could take until June or July to get the system working as it was intended, Graham said.
Conectiv's appearance Tuesday in front of the five-member commission marks the utility's latest attempt to extricate itself from the problem.
"You're misunderstanding how foolish you all look," Commissioner John R. McClelland said.
His comment marked the first time other commissioners voiced their views on the subject. Until Tuesday, PSC chairman Robert McMahon had done most of the talking.
McClelland accused Conectiv managers of asking customers to help them find errors in their bills and then charging them for doing it.
Graham said the company is taking steps to help customers:
Nearly doubling the number of telephone call takers by the end of March to about 300 people. Opening temporary walk-in centers for customers to meet with Conectiv representatives. The company hasn't said where those centers will be. Having call takers work mandatory overtime. Not charging late fees or shutting off service to delinquent customers until the problems are corrected.
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), February 10, 2000
Not charging late fees or shutting off service to delinquent customers until the problems are corrected.
Isn't that nice. They won't cut off your service because of mistakes they have made. Good ole conectiv
-- rocky (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 10, 2000.
I've received 5 different bills in the last 6 weeks. First I owed them $350. Which I paid because they did threaten to shut off my power. Then they gave it back with an extra $100. Then they gave me $50 more and then gave me a bill for $50. My normal scheduled payment is $135/mo. They are getting better. Last summer they gave me a bill for $8,000 for one month of electricity. After two months they were going to shut off the utilities for lack of payment. Took two months and one call to Washington D.C. to straighten out.
-- Surrounded (email@example.com), February 10, 2000.