This is regarding my electric bill. I uses autopay and did not notice my electric bill had jumped from $30 to $400 in the month of December for a 720 sq ft apartment energy efficient apartment, before it was already paid. As soon as I noticed the withdrawal on my electronic banking service I called to get the meter checked, the Empire person said it was obviously wrong. The meter was supposedly checked the next day, but I was never informed of the results. I called again the following week and was told the $400 would be held in the account, the correction would be reflected on the next bill, and future bills would be credited. So I thought problem was resolved on their end. Then the next bill arrives, $299, with no reflection of a correction for the previous month’s astronomical bill. We went in person to the Branson office to see why nothing had changed on the bill. We were told the meter reader would go out again and check it. Again, I was not informed of the result. We went to the Branson office AGAIN, 2 days later, to check it and were told the reading was correct and I should talk to maintenance at the apartment complex, because they could tell by the meter reading that it was probably the furnace causing the increased usage. Was this not evident with the initial $400 reading?? The apartment maintenance man immediately found there was a problem, and called a heating company who arrived the next day and found a short in a furnace wire, so the heat strips were running in overload, and they fixed it. So, one has to wonder why Empire couldn’t alert the customer or the complex back in December when the meter was going crazy or anytime thereafter. It took our constant badgering to get an answer out of them. The only thing Empire has offered is to set up a payment plan for me to cover the bills, I have already paid $417 and $299, I still haven’t received the latest bill that will reflect 3 more weeks of overuse. They have no explanation as to why they can’t get back to a customer asking for assistance. On the day I contacted the apartment maintenance man, we looked at the meters and noticed that mine was well above ALL of the other meters for my building. Why was this information never reported to the complex manager? They purposely let the bill keep running up. Common courtesy would have had them inform the customer or the complex, something was wrong. I don’t know if this could have caused a fire if it was left running at 100% capacity for a weeks at a time. I do know it is not an efficient way to heat an apartment.
Empire District Electric CO
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