MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Midtown man is furious after receiving an MLGW utility bill for more than $17,000.

The bill says if he doesn’t pay by Tuesday, his lights will be off.

The five-figure utility bill — $17,622, to be exact — has Forrest Miles frustrated. He uses a different word.

“I’m beyond p****d,” he said.

Miles, who lives off East Parkway, says he got the bill Saturday after three months with no bill. His first stop Monday morning was MLGW’s customer service office in downtown Memphis.

“They were turning people away saying it’s going to be well over two hours for your wait time,” he said. “Not enough people working. Can’t talk to who you need to talk to.”

His wait time ended up being nearly two-and-a-half hours, based on a confirmation text.

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” he said after finally meeting with someone. “They could give me no real answers, except that they will look into it. Anyone with an IQ above 40 can tell this is screwed up.”

So Miles tried to get to the bottom of it himself, and found that his water meter is blank.

WREG has reported for months that customers are receiving outrageous bills after months of delayed billing due to MLGW’s water meter issues. 

Miles’ $17,000 bill also came with a cut-off notice of Tuesday, October 3. That’s two business days’ notice to pay 17k.

For now, there is supposed to be a hold on the account so his utilities are not cut off Tuesday. Miles says he’s not sure if can believe that promise.

“This is a problem throughout Memphis and there seems to be no accountability from MLGW,” Miles said.

MLGW sent a response Monday, saying they are working with Miles.

“We have been having issues with our gas and water meters for several months now. Some customers did not receive a bill for months and in some circumstances customers have received unusually high bills,” a company spokesperson said. “We have spoken with the customer, protected him from disconnection, and are working to correct his bill. Once we do so, we will send a new bill.”