Murray Electric dealing with payment, billing problems
Murray Electric power bills are due the 15th, but lots of customers still haven’t gotten their bills so the company is bracing for late payments. The problem is, that isn’t the first problem it’s had recently.
Murray Electric Customer Service Manager Dale Hughes told Local 6 the first red flag went up March 26. That’s when it runs its end-of-the-month reports. Typically it has anywhere from $32,000 to $46,000 of outstanding bills. In March, it was missing nearly $350,000.
“I thought this is really unusual, for these folks not to pay their bills,” Hughes said. He started to investigate, and many of the missing funds came form commercial customers. Once he started contacting them, he realized most had proof they wrote checks and mailed them. The checks just never made it to Murray Electric.
Then, on April 1, Murray Electric sent out this month’s bills. Within a few days, Hughes realized the problems were back. The drop box, which usually starts filling up, was still nearly empty.
“Probably after three days, maybe 30 that were coming through,” Hughes said. “That’s when I thought, ‘We needed help.'” Hughes said Murray Electric uses a third party company based out of Greenville, South Carolina, to mail its bills in bulk. There was documentation the bills made it to the post office.
Hughes contacted the local post office, but initially didn’t get far.
“That’s when they said there was nothing they could do about it,” Hughes said. “They couldn’t track it.”
Since then, Hughes said Murray Electric keeps taking calls from people who haven’t received their bills and are encouraging anyone who hasn’t to call and pay over the phone.
A regional manager for the U.S. Postal Service contacted Murray Electric managers Thursday and gathered some more information. Hughes told them Murray Electric will be investigating the matter, but can’t say at this point if the problems are the postal services’ fault.
Hughes said he’s not pointing fingers. He just wants to figure out what the problem is so Murray Electric can fix it. They only thing that has changed in 15 years of Murray Electric billing is where the mail is processed. Up until April 3, the bills were processed in Paducah. Now that the center is closed there, they go to Evansville, Indiana, and Nashville, Tennessee.
“I don’t know where the problem is in the chain. I just know it exists,” he said.
In the meantime, if you are a Murray Electric customer and have had problems with your bill, you’re asked to call 270-753-5312.