CPS Energy bills anger customers

One woman got seven bills in one day


SAN ANTONIO - Mistakes made by CPS Energy resulted in one customer having an erroneously large bill and another with catching up to do after not receiving a bill for six months.

Maria Salas was upset when she saw her CPS Energy bill was more than $1,200.
"I'm sorry, I just get very emotional," she said, crying.

She asked the Defenders to investigate why the bill was so large because her previous bills were much smaller.

"I told them I've been with CPS over 20 years and I've never had a bill over $300," Salas said.

The Defenders asked CPS Energy to investigate and Shannon Albert, Senior Director of Call Center and Customer Billing, found Salas’s bill had been estimated for several months.

Albert said then Salas’s meter was read, but it was read wrong.

"It was an error on our part," Albert said.

She said the glass on the meter cover was discolored and the meter reader got the wrong reading.

A new reading came back lower and CPS Energy corrected the bill.

"That read that we were basing the corrections on was actually higher, so then we went back in and adjusted Ms. Salas's bill."

In another situation involving a huge CPS Energy bill, Jenny Morris got seven CPS Energy bills all dated May 21st after getting no bills for six months.

She and her husband and three small kids moved into a mobile home in November.
"Didn't get a CPS bill,” Morris said. “Contacted them. No records of my address."

She said the family kept calling.

"Third month, my husband called," Morris said.

CPS Energy said there were no records of any calls from the Morris’ until after they had received the seven bills in May.

"Our records show that they contacted us in June," Albert said.

Still, she admits the Morris' bills got held up in a queue of bills to be examined at the utility.

"Yes, we do bear a responsibility and that's one of the reasons we look at setting up very flexible installment plans when we do make those types of errors," Albert said.

But she said the family still has to pay for the energy they used.

Morris does not know how they will afford to pay the overdue amount and does not think this is fair.

"They need to swallow this, I think,” Morris said. “They made the error. It's just like any business. Why is CPS Energy any different?"

CPS Energy said customers with overdue bills will not have to worry about getting shut off notices.

The utility said the triple digit heat makes it unsafe to turn off electric service at this time.

CPS Energy also wants to remind customers that it does not call or knock on doors demanding payment.

Imposter scammers are now making up their own version of pink shut off notices and are going door to door claiming power is going to be turned off if payment is not made immediately.

For a list of recent stories Brian Mylar has done, click here.


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