MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As part of MLGW’s meter reading efficiency changes, the due date on your bill could be changing.
Walter Nadal said he just paid one $200 bill when, to his surprise, he got another only days later.
“Kind of shocking,” Nadal said. “It was only 20 something days between both bills to be paid, and not only that, the reading cycle moved up from the 15th to the 7th or 8th.”
The reading of his meter and his bill due date had been moved up.
“I am retired,” he said. “I only get paid once a month, so like what happened, I got two bills totaling $400 for the month of July for utilities.”
Nadal called MLGW but said he never got a clear answer why. Now he worries what could happen next.
“If you don’t pay on time, you are subject to a cutoff notification,” Nadal said. “They could report it to your credit for a late payment or you get a late fee or reconnection fee.”
MLGW said the new due date is to be more efficient and better serve customers.
“Most customers, their billing dates will change,” MLGW spokesperson Gale Jones Carson said. “We are calling it recycling.”
Meter reading routes are changing to accommodate customers who opted out of smart meters and still have their meters read by workers.
“So hopefully we will be able to have meter readers working in the same area of town,” Jones Carson said.
A notice about the changes, which began in March and should be complete in October, was in the MLGW newsletter that comes inside each bill.
“If they pay before it’s late or considered late, they will not be charged a late fee nor will they get a cutoff notice,” Jones Carson said.
MLGW said they have several plans to work with customers who can’t pay and links to agencies that can help them pay.
But in the middle of a pandemic, during a heat wave and with people stuck at home, Nadal hopes MLGW will rethink their plans.
It might be beneficial to them, but it’s not beneficial to us,” Nadal said. “We are the customers, and they should give us a say in the situation.”
MLGW said another issue is in July, like other months with 31 days, customers will get two bills, but they are not being billed twice.
MLGW also hasn’t been cutting off services or charging late fees since the pandemic started in March. That moratorium ends August 3.
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