Connecticut State Sen. Michael McLachlan (R-24) claims that “hundreds” of Connecticut Light & Power Co. are receiving shut-off notices and late charges even though they are making on-time payments.
In March 18 letters to the presidents of CL & P and Yankee Gas (see below) McLachlan noted that CL & P moved its accounts receivable operations from Connecticut to Dallas, Texas.
The former two-day payment processing service in Hartford now takes two weeks in Dallas.
CL&P did not have an immediate response.
“Why would a major corporation want their payments floating in the U.S. Postal Service travelling from Connecticut to Texas?” McLachlan said. “It defies logic.
“Many of my constituents have contacted me to share their frustration with CL & P’s customer service department in response to a CL & P shut-off notice. One person told me, ‘I’ve never been late paying my bills, and now they send me a shut-off notice and charge me a late fee?’
“Another constituent received a shut-off notice and the power was turned off. Unfortunately, their payment was received on-time by CL & P and the power was restored. After a contentious phone call to customer service, CL & P removed the ‘reconnection fee’ from the customer’s bill.
“Phone calls to CL & P often result in a response saying, ‘Don’t worry, we received your payment.’ Tell that to a senior citizen who has never experienced the alarm of a shut-off notice.
“I am calling on CL & P to promptly pull the plug on their new out-of-state payment operations and refund the inappropriate late fees to their customers who paid on-time.”
McLachlan (www.senatormclachlan.com) represents Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield and Sherman.
William P. Herdegen, III President and CEO
Connecticut Light & Power
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141
Dear Mr. Herdegen,
I write regarding my displeasure with Connecticut Light & Power. It has come to my attention that hundreds of shut-off notices are being issued to customers from your company. These customers are not customers who have not paid their electric bill on time, in fact, it is the opposite.
Customers who have paid their bill on time are receiving these notices. The reason is due to no fault of their own. They are mailing in their bill on time, but the fact that your payment processing has been moved to Dallas, Texas is the real reason.
It is takes five plus day in the mail to receive the payment, and your customer service representatives are telling your customers that they must mail in their payment at least two weeks before the due date. This is unacceptable.
The customers that are paying their bill on time should not be given shut off notices, because their bill is not being process in a timely manner by your company. It is your company that chose to move your payment processing to Dallas, Texas, and your customers should not be required to mail in their bill two weeks before it is due.
If the bill is postmarked by the due date on their bill, then the customer should not be punished with shut-off notices. Receiving a shut-off notice from your electric supplier when you have paid your bill on time is an unnerving feeling, and one that no one deserves to feel.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing your response.
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- CL&P Turns Off Wrong Customer
- Customer Can’t Understand CL&P Billing Practices, Sending Dunning Letters To People Who Pay On Time
- How CL&P And UI Handle Consumer Complaints: Night & Day