North Carolina Utility bill

by Eric
(North Carolina)

In preparation for moving out of my old place I called and canceled my account with the gas company. Though I had all my mail forwarded I never received a final bill, and heard nothing from them for 8 months before receiving a regular statement by email. I discovered the company had never closed my account, and claimed I owe $150 for the previous 8 months. Three days later they raised the amount to $350 without explanation. Two weeks later I received a notice by mail saying I owe $400, again with no explanation for the increase.

The company has informed me that they will turn the account over to a collection agency If I do not pay, and I'm not sure how to proceed.

Comments for North Carolina Utility bill

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Mar 02, 2010
utility bill
by: Gerri

I wish I had a dollar for every complaint like yours I received! (In fact, something similar just happened to me? I received a bill for a utility service I disconnected and closed out. Ugh.)

I don't have an easy answer for you. You do want to try to work something out so that this doesn't go to collections and drop your credit score like a rock. In fact, I would strongly recommend you immediately pull copies of your credit reports and keep a copy of each for your records.

Then, I would suggest you do three things:

1. Send a certified letter to the gas company explaining what happened, and asking them to please send a complete accounting of your account. Tell them in the letter you want to resolve the bill as quickly as possible, but describe the problem you have with the bills you received and didn't receive. Be polite, and to the point.

2. Call and ask to talk with a supervisor. Be polite, and see what they are willing to do under the circumstances. Keep good notes of your conversation.

3. Contact your state utility regulatory agency to find out if there is a complaint procedure. If necessary, you may also be able to get one of your elected officials in Washington to help. (I assume this is a regulated utility. If it is a private company then let me know.)

I have to warn you that you may get stuck paying this just to protect your credit. You might need to pay it under protest, then take them to small claims court to get your money back. It sounds completely unfair, but again, you don?t want to ruin your credit - even for a $400 bill.

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