MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis woman with a nearly $1,000 utility bill says she can’t get through to MLGW to find out why her monthly bill had nearly tripled.
Ashley Mack said she knew she was behind on her MLGW bill but was stunned when she saw her bill had jumped from $372 to $966 in just one month.
The mother of three, who is out of work, says she is also having trouble setting up a payment plan. This comes as the utility announced Monday that it will resume disconnecting customers for non-payment beginning next week.
“I received this huge bill and I’ve only used more power than usual during the one week we had the snow,” said Mack.
Mack was able to get utility help from Shelby County’s Community Service Agency for her February bill, but her March bill shows the $325 payment is still pending. Mack said for three weeks now she has been trying to speak to someone at MLGW about arranging payments but can’t get anyone on the phone.
“During the snowstorm, I can understand why I wasn’t getting through. They were getting a lot of calls. It was just busy. It wasn’t even ringing. It would just hang up. After that, I continue to call and I just haven’t been able to get anyone,” Mack said.
When we called MLGW’s customer service we got a recorded message that said “if you are calling to report a non-emergency the utility was sorry all lines were busy.”
“It’s gotten to the point I don’t know what to do because you can go in person anymore, I can’t get anyone on the phone,” said Mack.
When we contacted MLGW Monday, we received this statement: “Memphis Light, Gas and Water will resume disconnections for non-payment on Monday, March 8. Extended Payment Plans are available to all customers until March 31. These plans require 25% of the total indebtedness up front, and then the remaining balance is set up on a payment plan for up to 12 months.”
Mack did receive an email from MLGW that said she could request a payment arrangement through the My Account portal but she said so far she hasn’t had any luck doing that online
“I need to make a payment arrangement on my bill before it gets shut off,” said Mack.
MLGW said if you want to set up a payment plan call (901)544-6549. Customers previously approved for the Extended Payment Plan are not eligible to reapply.
MlGW said the On Track program can also assist low income customers with budgeting, education, social services for 36 months. For more information call (901)528-4820 email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
You can also find a list of available MLGW programs here.
MLGW said Shelby County Community Services Agency’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program also has funds available for utility assistance. Call (901) 222-4200.
For a full list of resources click here.
Mack said Tuesday afternoon she called the (901)544-6549 number and was finally able to speak to someone with MLGW and set up a payment plan.