Business customers having issues with RG&E too
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It’s not just residential customers getting walloped with giant surprise bills from RG&E, some business customers are getting hit too. News10NBC has been reporting on a new state investigation into RG&E’s billing and customer service issues following a months-long News10NBC investigation into the problems.
More about billing issues with RG&E:
- NYS regulators launch new investigation into RG&E
- RG&E President: ‘We’re in the storm’ of customer service issues
- City leaders flipping the switch, wanting to take over RG&E
- RG&E threatening to shut off customers for uninspected meters
- Lifespan Helping Elderly Customers Worried about High RG&E Bills
- Public hearings begin on RG&E and NYSEG rate hike requests
- RG&E president responds to billing issues and PSC penalty
- RG&E penalized $900,000 for missing bill service quality metric
- Hilton Man Gets $7,622 Bill from RG&E
- RG&E will host four informational sessions about new smart meters
- RG&E and NYSEG to begin installing smart meters across the region
- President of RG&E: “We’re working on ways to make billing more efficient”
- Good Question: What’s behind RG&E billing issues?
- An Irondequoit man’s big RG&E bill spurs a call to News10NBC
- RG&E answers questions about months of no bills
- After months of no bills, pizza shop owner gets $6,168 RG&E bill
- ‘We were shocked’: Marion family facing nearly $1K utility bill
- RG&E offers help, suggestions for customers stunned by big bills
Donald Swartz owns Veneto Wood Fire Pizza and Pasta on East Avenue in downtown Rochester. For the last few years he says, dealing with RG&E has been a bit of a nightmare, “we’re lucky if we get a bill every two months, we have to call and ask and basically beg,” he tells News10NBC, “and keep in mind, it’s not 10 minutes on the phone with RG&E, it’s probably an average of 90 minutes on hold just to get an operator, then to get through to the right department or someone that could try to help.”
RG&E won’t allow Swartz to call-in his meter reads because it is a business account and he says often when one is scheduled, RG&E doesn’t show up. Because of his persistence, Swartz has had some actual meter reads since the pandemic, that’s why when his most recent bill arrived this week he was shocked, “my bill this month was $20,829.25, I had to get up off the floor and breathe a little bit first,” he recalls.
The normal bill for the building where Veneto’s is located is about $3,500 per month. So, even though this particular billing cycle appears to cover two months, it’s nearly 3 times higher, “obviously, something is horribly wrong with this bill,” Swartz says.
Earlier this week, the President of RG&E told News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke that it recently switched over its billing system and between working out some glitches and being short-staffed, the utility is in a bit of a customer service crisis, “that’s why I’m asking customers for patience, but I understand that they’re going to hold us to high standards, and until we meet their standards, they’re going to complain and it’s fair,” says Trish Nilsen.
In a statement regarding Swartz’s issue directly, a spokesman for RG&E said Friday, “According to our records, several meter readings were scheduled and successfully conducted for this commercial customer in the past year. There were a few instances where readings were not possible due to the building being inaccessible. In those instances, as is standard practice, estimates of past usage were applied. We will continue to connect with this customer to address their concerns.”
The utility says customer-submitted meter reads are not an option for commercial customers with a high volume of energy usage.
It’s not too late to file a complaint against RG&E as part of the ongoing investigation. If you have an issue with the utility and you’re not getting through for help, you should file a formal complaint with the New York State Public Service Commission here.
You can also call 800-342-3377 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.