What steps should I take to resolve concerns about my monthly bill or complaints against my utility company?
- Carefully Review Your Monthly Bill/Statement
The best way to guard against improper or over billing charges is to understand the billing statement you receive each month. Reading and understanding a utility bill can be confusing at times which is why many businesses include a guide with monthly billing statements or on their website to assist you with this task. Take time to carefully review your statement to ensure that there are no discrepancies. Should you see a problem with your bill taking the following steps will provide you with a good start to fixing the problem.
- Contact Your Service Provider
Once you have identified a problem the first thing you should do is contact utility services provider. Often times dealing directly with the company is the quickest and best way to resolve concerns you may have regarding your utility services. Start with a customer services representative and work your way upward, exhaust all resources made available to you including contacting upper level management. Keep a record of your actions, noting the name and title of each person you speak to and the recommendations they give you. Also note the date and time of all conversations you have with company representatives. Keeping good records can be very helpful later on if these actions do not achieve the results you want.
- Contact the Public Utilities Commission
Once you have gone as far as you can with the company and have had no success your next course of action will be to contact the Public Utilities Commission. While the Division of Consumer Advocacy cannot resolve complaints or concerns raised by consumers it can help guide them through the process. To file a complaint with the commission you can write them a letter or e-mail outlining the problems and concerns that you have and then send it to them. Or you can fill out this simple online form that can also be mailed once it is printed and filled in. Include copies of your personal records, as discussed above, and any other information that you have received from the company. The Commission has investigators on staff that may be able to assist you in resolving complaints. Copies of your letter should also be sent to the Division of Consumer Advocacy and your utility service provider, for easier identification these copies should somehow be labeled “Courtesy Copy”.