Small Business Says MLGW Mistake Cost It Thousands Of Dollars

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(Memphis) The owner of the Euro Gourmet Market and Deli says he understands mistakes, but he says a mistake by Memphis Light, Gas and Water cost his business thousands of dollars.

Gabriel Chelsoi has a beef with MLGW over freezers full of meat and cheese ruined because the utility cut off  power at his Gourmet Market on Stage Road.

"I thought I was gonna have a heart attack after I seen the sign on the door," says Chelsoi.

It happened over the 4th of July holiday.

The power was on when Chelsoi left July 3rd, but when he returned on the July 6th he found a notice on the door.

His power was cut off because he hadn't paid the $501 bill.

"All the refrigerators they were like 80 to 85 degrees. All meat was spoiled, all cheese, all perishables," says Chelsoi.

He had proof from his bank he paid the bill.

"They took the money on June 17th. They shut down power on July 4th, no warning, no nothing," says Chelsoi.

He showed the payment to MLGW and eventually got a letter saying his account had been credited, but there was no explanation about the mistake.

His insurance covered some of the loss, but not $9,000 lost in business while the store was closed for professional cleaning and re-stocking.

Chelsoi says a lot of his food products come for out of state.

"We didn't have no income, didn't sell nothing," says Chelsoi.

He says they were closed for 27 days.

Chelsoi asked MLGW to cover the losses, but says he was told they would have to talk to his lawyer.

We asked MLGW  about the case and received this statement from Corporate Communications Director Gale Jones Carson,

"On July 5, at 11:34 a.m., the services for Euro Gourmet were disconnected for nonpayment. On July 6, Euro Gourmet contacted us, notified us that payment had been made, the payment was confirmed and services were reconnected that same day at 12:40 p.m. Euro Gourmet also contacted our Claims Department. We sent an adjustor to review their claim. On August 5, Euro Gourmet filed a suit against MLGW in Shelby County General Sessions Court. A status hearing is slated for Oct. 16. Since litigation is pending on this matter, MLGW can not comment further."

For Gabriel Chelsoi that's not enough.

"It's a mistake, but why should we suffer the consequences you know," says Chelsoi.

The business owners couldn't afford a lawyer and tried to represent themselves in Small Claims Court, but a judge told them to find an attorney.

Their case will be back in court next month.