Is this legal?
October 24, 2006 8:35 AM Subscribe
I recently recieved a bill from my local utilities company stating that they had accidentily undercharged me for the last year. Now they want me to pay 438.53. Here's the letter, is there a way out of this?
posted by Telf to law & government (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here it is:
We recently determined that the gas meter at the above address had malfunctioned. The meter had not registered consumption correctly since your 07/01/05 read date. The meter was changed on 06/30/06.
Based on your consumption history, an adjustment is being made to cover the unbilled consumption during this time. The additional charge of $ 438.53 will be billed in 12 monthly installments of 36.54 beginning with your next bill.
Please accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience that this problem may cause you. If you have any questions please call our Customer Service Division at 555-555-5555.
So what's the deal?
Some things to consider:
This is a house rented out to 3 people. Over the course of the year, 2 of my regular roommates were abroad and NOT using the utilities. This seems to invalidate the charges based on my consumption history.
Also during that period some other people subleased (under the table). Am I expected to hunt them down and retroactively charge them?
Finally, I've been paying gas bills over this period. At no time did my bills drop by $40 a month. How is it that I can possibly owe a difference of $40 a month? That seems like a huge adjustment. Our bills have always been around $115. How can this adjustment be almost 40% of our bill? Our recent bills do not have a gas charge that makes up 40% of our bill.
I asked for an itemized bill from customer service, but the bill did not show my gas charges.
How can a utilities company arbitrarily charge a house based on its consumption "history", especially in a student area?
BTW This is in Florida.