What Do You Do When Your Electric Company Ignores Your Financing Agreement?

Jason was stuck with a massive electric bill due to a meter-reading snafu and worked out a payment plan with the company. Now the utility has disregarded the plan, rendering Jason’s automatic payments insufficient, and tacked on finance charges. He has no idea how to maneuver out of this debt hell and wants some advice.

Read Jason’s story and see if you can help coach him out of the jam:

I got an unusually large electricity bill a couple weeks ago. I found out it was to make up for the difference between estimated and actual usage because they were unable to access the meter over the past year. Fine. I agreed to pay it, but I refused to pay any finance charges because they never even called me to schedule a meter reading.

The CSR couldn’t do anything to waive the finance charges, so I asked to be put in the queue to have a manager call me back. 3 days later I called back only to find out that they’re unusually busy and that it might be 4-5 business days before a manager gets back to me. After a week, still no manager had called me. I called back and complained again about the finance charges and finally the CSR must’ve talked to a manager because she waived the finance charges. Throughout each of my calls, I made it clear to the CSR that I needed to adjust my automatic payments because I was worried they would withdraw the entire $350 at once. They assured me that the automatic payment would be adjusted. All I needed to do was pay an initial down payment of $75 dollars over the phone. I did that.

Today, I checked my bank account and saw that they completely ignored the agreed upon financing schedule and withdrew the entire amount of the bill, which means I paid the entire bill PLUS an extra $75. So, after spending hours on hold for multiple phone calls and settling on a financing schedule, it was all for nothing.

I can’t wait weeks for a manager to call me back. I need the money credited back to my account now.

What do I do?