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Watch those electric bills

March 15, 2013
Shepherdstown Chronicle

As I am sure many of you have done, I have changed to paperless billing for as many accounts as possible. It keeps all my bills in one location (my email) and prevents the waste of a lot of paper.

I noticed a few weeks ago, when budgeting the paycheck's worth of outgoing money, that I had not received the monthly Potomac Edison bill.

I, as I expect most of you, budget as closely as possible to the money coming in. It is the only way to function in this day of continuing rising costs and non-rising paychecks. When I saw that the bill had not come, I called the friendly customer service line and was told Potomac Edison was changing their billing cycle and I should receive my statement in about three weeks.

Not once did Potomac Edison inform me ahead of time that there was a change coming in billing cycles. Now I have received the statement which includes a month and about three-quarters of another month because the statements went out later than they used to. That has jumped my bill by a significant amount and we pay on the monthly budget plan!

To top it all off, this month is one of those "estimated" months where the meter is not actually read. It has concerned me several times on the alleged "every other month" estimated readings that often turn into consecutive months estimated, that the electric company has no idea how much power I have actually used in any given billing cycle. They simply guestimate and make up the difference a few months down the line.

Of course, as the customer service representative tells me, I can always go out and read the meter and call in to Potomac Edison and give them a reading so I can be billed the right amount. If I do their job for them, they will be courteous enough to change their potential incorrect billing. A sad state of affairs for the customer, I say.

For those of you who have not yet received the current statement, be prepared! A few weeks difference can add a lot to your budget, as can the continued practice of usage estimation. Perhaps if enough people voiced concern over the company's practices, changes would be made. If you feel the estimation process or the lack of notice of a billing timeline change are poor practices, let the company know.

 
 

 

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