The following is an article from my good friend Paul Hosse over at Another Opinion.
The text of the article concerns LG&E changing their billing practices that will help them gain momney through the use of "late" fees. Please read and forward and contact LG&E to let them know your feelings.
LG&E Turns Off Customers
You would think that in these trying times, a publicly owned utility company would be a little more consumer friendly and understanding. Well, apparently not at Louisville Gas and Electric in Louisville Kentucky.
For years, the local utility company allowed slight modifications in payment dates since the typical customer is paid on the 15th and last of the month while the bill is always due on the 28th of the month. By simply allowing an additional 2 or 3 day “grace period”, customers get their bills paid on time.
But that’s all changed.
The utility company recently sent out a notice to its customers that effective April 1st (appropriate though I presume unintentional), there will be no more grace period because of a change in their billing system. The bill is due on the 28th and it’s late on the 29th. And that means paying a late fee (which, as readers of this blog know, is a form of corporate tax on citizens). That means, through no fault of their own, the average customer could find themselves being penalized for something that is not only not their fault, but the result of changes being made by the company (it's like being fined for a crime someone else committed).
In an effort to try and reach some reasonable solution, my wife phoned customer service at LG&E to see if there was anything we could work out. After all, I doubt my employer (or anyone else’s) would agree to change my pay dates to accommodate LG&E’s billing department. While the conversation was reasonably polite, the customer service representative all but acknowledged that this was one of her employer’s dumbest ideas. Still, there was nothing she or anyone could do about it.
However, if you were receiving “brown notices”, which are letters threatening to turn off the electricity, they would be willing to work with you on your payment dates. Huh?
Simply put, if you’re trying to pay your bill in full and essentially on time, they can’t help you. If you’re late because of how you are paid, sorry about your luck. It’s a strike against you and to add salt to injury, they tack on a $20 late fee. However, if you can’t pay your bill, they can work out a payment plan with you that will fit your needs.
Maybe it’s just me, but where’s the logic here? Shouldn’t they be a little more accommodating to those who can and are willing to pay their bill? Are we, the average working class Joe and Jane, being penalized for trying to do the right thing? Well, it would certainly seem so to me.
By the way, I understand that our formerly “One Great Newspaper”, the Courier Journal, is going to be doing the same thing. I suspect this will simply result in a further decline in subscriptions, which will ultimately send newspaper to the archives of media past. I look for the local water company to try this gimmick as well. The result for each will be more late payments (of course, the upside for them will be more late fees for their coffers) while we could end up with black marks on our credit while we juggle our checkbooks ever more perilously.
I would urge readers to contact LG&E and urge them to stop penalizing their customers and reinstate the grace period to accommodate how the average worker is paid. You can reach them through their link at: https://secure.eon-us.com/common/CallCenterMail/contact_lge_css.asp. You can also reach them at (502) 589-1444 or (800) 331-7370 if you live outside Louisville.
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