After moving to a new apartment, a San Marcos woman said she called her power company, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), weekly for six months because she was not receiving her monthly bill.
Suzie Mendenhall has the usual set of electric appliances from a fridge to a microwave but for months, Suzie couldn’t find out what it was costing her to use them.
“We normally get a bill mid-September from SDG&E and we did not get one,” Suzie said.
Suzie and her husband downsized to a one-bedroom apartment in San Marcos last year. The couple said they notified SDG&E of the move but when it came time to receive a bill at their new address, it never came.
“In October we were told it should be coming soon but by early November, we were really getting concerned,” Suzie said.
Suzie said when the bill didn’t arrive in November, December or January she became really worried.
“We were worried we were going to get a substantial bill, not knowing what the baseline would be,” Suzie said.
Suzie said she estimated how much she might owe and paid SDG&E based on her estimate. As time went on, she said an SDG&E Customer Service Representative told her she might not be alone.
“The lady that time said, ‘Well there’s 4,000 people in the same boat as you,’” Suzie said.
Suzie contacted NBC 7 Responds for help and we contacted the company. Amber Albrecht, a spokesperson for SDG&E, said major changes in the industry and the fact that they are now offering more choices and options for customers than ever before is leading to billing system challenges but 99% of their customers are getting their bills on time.
NBC 7 Responds asked SDG&E how many customers weren’t getting their bill on time, based off of the 99% figure given, but the company did not respond.
To see the full response from SDG&E look below.
Within 24 hours of our call to SDG&E, Suzie said she received an apology from the company and their account was credited for three months of service, totaling over one-hundred dollars.
The next month, Suzie told NBC 7 Responds she received her bill on-time.
In an email Albrecht told NBC 7 Responds:
“We’re committed to fixing this problem because our customers deserve timely billing from us. We made significant progress towards the end of last year by bringing in additional resources and a number of customers should have received their billing packages. We recognize that this may cause a burden to some of our customers and we’re here to work with them to make payment arrangements and alleviate the burden this may cause.
Regarding what happened, the industry is undergoing major transformation and we are now providing an unprecedented number of choices and options to our customers, and many of them are technically complex. SDG&E implemented a number of changes to how we bill customers in late 2015 and 2016, from changes to how all customers are billed, to moving a significant amount of customers to a time of use energy rate to updates needed to other billing structures like net energy metering. It is the culmination of all these changes over a very short period of time that has contributed to the billing system challenges.”