Reconnect Fee Charged When Service Not Disconnected - WSPA.com

Reconnect Fee Charged When Service Not Disconnected

Living on a fixed income, Havert Young Jr. says it takes some maneuvering to make ends meet at times. Last month was one of them.

Knowing he wouldn't be able to pay his $186 utility bill on time to the City of Clinton, he asked for a couple more weeks.

"A problem came up and I needed an extension," said Havert. "And I went in to ask for one and I got one."

Havert says he also got stuck with a late fee, which he was expecting, and another fee he wasn't.

"They also said to me you'll be charged with a cutoff fee and I was like why?" said Havert. "You know, you're not cutting my power off."

He says they never did cut off his power. He went ahead and paid the total $230 bill, including both late fees, a couple weeks later as he had planned, to avoid disconnect.

But he's still fighting that extra $25 reconnect fee.

We asked Clinton City Manager Frank Stovall why the city would still charge the fee even if service wasn't disconnected.    

"The $25 fee is used to offset the cost associated with attempting to collect on that delinquent payment," said Stovall.

He says it keeps them from spreading that cost to all of the city's 4,000 utility customers. The fee is charged to customers more than 7 days past due. That's in addition to a $25 late penalty that is applied the first day a bill is past due.

But after taking a second look at Havert's account, Stovall had some good news for him.    

"In his situation, he had a very good payment record with us. And folks that have a good payment record are eligible to have that fee waived once per year," said Stovall.

And the $25 was credited back to Havert's account.

"We got it straightened out and I'm satisfied," said Havert.

Stovall says if you're having problem paying your bill or know you're going to be late, call the city at (864) 833-7500.

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