MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An 83-year-old Memphis woman says she doesn’t know what to do after learning she owes Memphis Light, Gas & Water over $1,200.

Mable Johnson says she makes sacrifices year-round to avoid high bills from Memphis Light, Gas & Water.

“Even in the summer time, I don’t keep the air on, trying to save. In the winter time, I be cold in the house,” she said.

Last week, Johnson received three bills within 72 hours. The first bill was $373. By the third bill, the total was over $977.

“I can’t afford that. I can’t even afford to buy food with all this (expletive) here. It’s just done got out of hand,” she said.

Frustrated, she got in the car with her daughter and used her walker to come downtown to personally speak with an MLGW representative.

Jennifer Sanders says her mother was told she now owes $1,268.21 by next Friday.

“It’s sad because my mother doesn’t have the $1,268, and we don’t have the $1,268 to help her, but I know they are going to cut her lights off because that’s the same thing that happened year before last,” Sanders said. “Nobody is making an effort to resolve this issue. We have waited since 12 o-clock. and got seen at 3:09 just to be told, just to be told that the $900 is incorrect.”

In February, MLGW said it was unable to generate timely bills due to faulty gas and water meter parts, resulting in delayed bills.

Sanders says even when her mother didn’t receive a bill, she still paid $150 for that month. She says a clerk told her the fee goes back to November 2022, but Sanders says it’s still not adding up.

“I feel like mother is being taken advantage of and that there is nothing she can do about it. There is no one to hold Memphis Light Gas and Water accountable,” she said. “Please, please, whatever they got they say is not working and all that, please get it fixed because it’s hurting us.”

We reached out to MLGW about Johnson’s case. A spokesperson said while Johnson has paid some, it does not cover her usage. They said payment plans are available if needed.