Pay Up In June, and See DWP Late Fees Go Away
By EGP Staff Report
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers who were charged late payment fees this year, could have the charges refunded if they pay their utility bill in full by the end of June.
DWP suspended collection and service disconnection activities in November 2013 as it tried to correct problems with its new customer billing and information system, but will soon resume collection proceedings against customers who are late on paying their utility bill.
According to DWP, the one-time, month-long ‘amnesty’ like program, is intended to encourage customers who have fallen behind on their utility bill to get caught up.
“The Late Payment Charge Credit is another step toward resolving the billing problems that have occurred since the utility company replaced its 40-year old customer information and billing system last year,” the company said.
The billing system changeover “created regrettable problems for too many of our customers, but we are trying to make it right by fixing the problem and offering sensible solutions like the Late Payment Charge Credit,” DWP General Manager Marcie Edwards said.
She added that customers who pay their bill in full by the end of June will receive a refund on their next bill for all late charges paid in 2014. However, if you don’t have the money to pay off your bill in full, Edwards said it’s a good idea to contact DWP and set up a payment plan to avoid your water and power service being cut off.
Since temporarily halting collection activities, More residential and commercial customers have fallen behind on their utility bills since DWP temporarily halted collection activities, and currently there are more than 200,000 customer accounts past due, with an overall outstanding balance of $150 million.
Randy Howard, Senior Assistant General Manager of the Power System apologized for the problems customers have had with the new billing system, but added that DWP has made “significant progress in fixing the problems.” He also said current “outstanding charges are for utility services delivered and deemed correct,” and the company will soon implement a full residential collections process.
Customer who have not received a bill but have been using their utilities, should call DWP at 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) or online at www.ladwp.com/ContactUs .
June 12, 2014 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.