We are often asked how utility billing errors happen. The answer is a simple one, People Make Mistakes.
You may get a new bill each month, but many of the errors we find originated when the account was initially established. The set-up process begins with a conversation between you and the utility’s representative who asks questions and records your answers in the billing system. Your meter is installed and read, the metering information is recorded and eventually is also transferred into the billing system. Among this data entering the billing system are several components critical to accurately generating your monthly bill. If just one is recorded incorrectly, your bill will be impacted. If you have multiple facilities each with its own meter, the probability of set-up errors impacting you is even higher.
Utilities often assign initial account set up and data entry tasks to newer less experienced employees. The work is simple, repetitive and can be learned with minimal training. These employees typically handle multiple conversations or documents in a single hour; an environment where it’s easy to transpose a number or make an incorrect assumption.
Another frequent source of error is when changes are being made in the utility’s billing system. The most common of these involve a change in pricing or the application of new rate structures. Changes of this type don’t happen every month and tend to impact large blocks of customers when they do. Billing department resources are stretched thin implementing these changes and the hours may not be available to review each account individually. Consequently, mistakes are made.
The error shown here happened when one of the nation’s largest electric utilities implemented a new rate structure. This error caused the utility to underbill our client, while missing data on seven other bills resulted in over billings for the same client.
When errors made at set-up or during billing system changes aren't detected and corrected in the first month, they often go on for years without being discovered. In most states, when we find these errors the utility is required to refund the overcharges with interest back to the point of original error!
We find errors for over 80% of our clients, some of them larger than others. But even an error overcharging you by $100 a month can be significant if it began when you set up the account ten years ago. Now that small error when corrected will generate a refund of over $12,000 from your utility provider!
Our audits are conducted at no cost or risk to our clients. We work for a portion of what we recover for you and only earn compensation when we are successful in finding errors that result in refunds.
Have questions? We’d welcome the chance to answer them, just give us a call at
(813) 917-8952 today.
Hi, I'm Kent Hobart and I'm different. I've been blessed with a knowledge of utility billing and rate structures that is rare and yes, a little odd.
I started Utility Refund Specialists as a way to use my unique skills in serving organizations like yours. We audit our client's utility bills and identify errors in the billing that earn them refunds from their utility providers. I know, it sounds crazy but 4 in every 5 clients we work with have errors in their bills.
The incidence of errors is so frequent and the refund amounts are large enough, we can perform the audits for free. There is no cost to you unless we secure you a refund!