MEMPHIS, Tenn. — MLGW admits it made a mistake went it sent a customer a $30,000 utility bill this month and is blaming it on ongoing issues with their meters.
The actual bill, a spokesperson for the utility said, is about $1,100.
Carolyn Lerma said her MLGW bill is usually a little bit higher during the summer months, but she was shocked when she opened her mail and saw a $30,061 bill due by July 28. She said the last bill she paid was just $221.
“I just thought certainly it was a big mistake, but then when I called MLGW, she said oh yes, that’s correct,” said Lerma. “And I said, so is the kind you have to go to the news with.”
Lerma said the MLGW representative told her they could send someone out to check the meter, but her supervisor told her the reading was correct. Lerma said she couldn’t believe what they told her next.
“She said we’ll send someone out to re-read the meter and give us a call back on August 3 when you get your cut-off notice because if you have a bill over $30,000, you have to be cut off,” Lerma said.
Lerma said she didn’t receive a bill in May or June because MLGW told her they were researching unusual water activity. Lerma said she knew she didn’t have a leak but was so nervous about her bill she stopped watering her lawn.
“I feel like I wouldn’t have been as disturbed by it if when I called customer service, they acted like, oh, that looks like an issue we need to look into, but it was like no, that’s right,” she said.
MLGW said they have been dealing with some meter failures for months. MLGW said Lerma’s bill had been corrected, her new balance was $1,105.46, and a corrected bill had been generated.
Lerma said the new balance has not shown up online yet, but she hopes the problem has been resolved.