Customers express frustration at virtual forums about RG&E billing issues

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Following a year-long News10NBC Investigation, the New York State Department of Public Service held two virtual public forums on Tuesday, to receive public comments regarding delayed and erroneous billing, delayed or inaccurate meter reading, and customer service problems affecting customers RG&E and NYSEG. 

The NYSDPS says it saw a significant increase in complaints against the company and a deterioration in customer service performance metrics in 2022, especially since August 2022. Among other issues, customers have reported high, inaccurate, or delayed bills, which they assert are inordinately based on estimated meter readings. 

These problems have been compounded by the inability of customers to reach the companies’ customer service representatives by telephone without substantial delay. The issues have been highlighted in dozens of stories investigated by the News10NBC team for nearly a year now. 

Hundreds of people provided testimony during the virtual hearings on Tuesday and hundreds more will have the opportunity to do the same when the DPS holds in-person public hearings in Rochester on Tuesday, February 7th in the Council Chambers at Rochester City Hall. 

In a statement, a spokeswoman for RG&E tells News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke, “While NYSEG and RG&E have not been immune from the effects of COVID on our utility, such as a severe staffing shortage, we understand the impacts some of our customers have faced with their bills. In fact, we have already made significant progress by hiring 120 new customer service representatives, with more to come, which has resulted in reducing customer issues and streamlining our billing processes. But make no mistake, along with providing safe, reliable service to more than 1,290,000 customers and responding to and restoring service following historic storms, addressing billing issues continues to be a top priority, and we are committed to ensuring customer bills are sent out timely and accurately.  We will fully cooperate with the Department’s investigation.”

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