News10NBC Investigates:  RG&E billing chaos continues

MT. MORRIS, N.Y. – A Mt. Morris woman is trying to make sense of how much she actually owes RG&E for gas and electric after getting 10 different e-bills for the month of November. 

At the beginning of the year, Teri Carabello signed up for budget billing and auto-pay, meaning the same amount should get deducted from her bank account every month to pay her RG&E bill online.  “I had been getting e-bills and then I got this paper bill all the sudden that was like you were overdue and I was like what the heck is going on here,” she tells News10NBC. 

Carabello was shocked to learn she had a balance of $720.  Turns out, RG&E hadn’t deducted any money since May and now that the utility had its billing issue resolved, it wanted the full amount it was owed all at once, “I mean it was hours on the phone with them and I was so frustrated,” Carabello says. 

She couldn’t afford to pay the full amount so, she set-up a payment plan and paid $120 down and agreed to pay $120 more per month until the balance was paid.  But, two weeks later, “they withdrew the whole $720 from my bank account,” Carabello says, “I feel like you stole it from me, we entered into an agreement and you should not have taken $720 for me.”

Then, things went from bad to worse.  Screen shots from her online account show 10 different bills for different amounts on the same day, “these 10 bills are absolute chaos,” Carabello says, “if they have this kind of chaos for one person’s record-keeping, I can’t imagine everyone else.”

Carabello doesn’t know what to believe or how much to pay, “I want to pay my bill whatever my proper bill is, but I don’t even know how they or I, can determine that right now,” she says. 

It’s a sentiment many RG&E customers feel right now and something News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke asked the RG&E President about directly during an interview in late October.

Jennifer Lewke –  It comes down to trust, how do I know that what they are telling me I owe is accurate?

Trish Nilsen (President, RG&E) – So, absolutely customers who have concerns about their bills can work with us and we have an appeals process…If necessary we’ll make a site visit, we’ll do a check read we’ll do what we need to do to build that confidence back for our customers.

Carabello says that hasn’t been her experience, “the fact that they were so unwilling to even apologize for it or to explain how this had happened ,none of that,” she says.

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