MEMPHIS, Tenn. – MLGW customers across the city are now paying for all the winter weather issues that hit the Mid-South during the month of February.
Some of them say they are dealing with massive bills. Now, many customers say they are concerned they will get disconnected.
The customers say they need more time to pay these huge bills. They want to pay them, but they say they can’t get in contact with MLGW to learn how.
Still reeling after losing millions of gallons to burst pipes and water main breaks, MLGW warned customers about higher bills. Now, less than a week after normalizing their system, the utilities company has announced it will resume disconnections on March 8th.
“I just stopped in my tracks! My heart started beating so fast. I couldn’t even sleep last night,” said Memphis resident Sandra Burns.
MLGW says they will allow for extended payment plans through March 31, which is 23 days after they’re set to resume disconnecting accounts.
Burns said she can figure out a way to make ends meet, but she needs time and better communication from MLGW.
“It is impossible. I’ve been calling and calling and calling ever since they said that,” Burns said.
MLGW had a presentation for the Memphis City Council just hours after announcing they plan to resume disconnections.
“We need to reshape the customer experience. We know that,” MLGW CEO and President J.T. Young said.
They listed customer service as third on their focus areas list, and while they touted their low rates compared to other companies across the country, they did not take any questions or address specific issues about customer service.
“Our customers deserve our full commitment. You saw a display of that over the last couple of weeks, and you’ll see more of that,” Young said.
Residents hope to see more of that, not in the future but now. They want to handle bills as best they can, but aren’t sure how to without the company meeting them in the middle.
“You know, if I could talk to them, find out what I can do, they said what to do, I was trying to do it. I can’t do it. So what are we supposed to do?” Burns asked.
When we tried calling MLGW, an answering machine told us “all circuits are currently busy.” We’ll update this story, as we get more information.