After months of no bills, pizza shop owner gets $6,168 RG&E bill
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Sticker shock is arriving in the mail with the RGE bill. Tuesday we talked with two small business owners who say they went months without getting an RGE bill. And then this week the bill arrived, dwarfing what they normally pay in a month.
RGE says missing meter readings are the root cause, but the customers I talked to showed their meters were read and they still weren’t billed since Christmas until the big one arrived.
"They didn’t bill me for two months on at least two of my business locations," pizza shop owner Peter Jones said.
But this week it came. Jones’ RGE bill is $6,168 dollars. He normally pays $1,600 a month at his pizza shops in the city. He says RGE told him it was a problem in its billing department.
"There’s a lot of bills that come and go in a small business and I didn’t think too much about it and didn’t look too hard at it until I got that $6,000 invoice," Jones said.
"The RGE bill might be here. Let’s go see if it’s here," Kim Colasurdo said as she walked into her salon in Gates.
She says she wasn’t billed since December either. But today she saw her online bill. It says $2,604 dollars, three times what she normally pays.
"But definitely just seeing the amount made me think — what am I going to do?" she said.
When Colasurdo called RGE, she thought it might just be her bad luck.
Colasurdo: "They said it was thousands of people."
Brean: "Thousands of people? They said it could be thousands of people?"
RGE says missing meter reads are the root cause for most billing delays and can be attributed to no access to the meter, inclement weather, unsafe conditions, and since 2020, pandemic-related reasons.
Industrial, large commercial and small commercial accounts fall into a category that requires an actual read or a manually entered read for billing. RG&E’s E-bill program allows customers to view their bills online, but a meter read is still required to produce the bill to be viewed.
Payment arrangements are available to customers who receive an invoice that includes more than one billing period.
Colasurdo says RGE has a record of someone coming out to read her meters and meter readings in December, January, February, and March are actually listed on Jones’ bill.
"I’m sure I’m going to be okay. My real concern is for the residents of the city of Rochester. If they did it to me, they probably did it to a lot more people than just me," Jones said.
Jones is signed up for auto-billing and auto-pay and this problem still happened to him.
The business owners not getting billed more money. The total represents the total of two to three months of service.
But when that bill came, it was a shock.