MOBILE, Ala. – Thousands of Mobile Gas customers received notices in the mail Tuesday about errors in their bills that were caused by an employee who didn’t bother to read their meters.
Della Morris says when her elderly mother received a 740 dollar gas bill this month she went to the utility looking for answers.
“The lady who I went to said the reason why it was high was because the person who was checking her meter was reading it wrong. I said that’s not my mom’s fault she was reading it wrong. She was paying the bill that was sent to her,” Morris said.
It turns out that same employee failed to read a lot of meters. Instead, Mobile Gas officials said the worker purposely entered erroneous information into the data system.
As a result Morris’ mothers bill jumped from 86 dollars in January, to more than 740 dollars last month.
Mobile Gas officials said the employee has been fired. But that doesn’t help Morris’s mother or potentially 98-hundred other customers assigned to the employee.
Morris says it was the Mobile Gas employee who was responsible for the deceit and the error. But it’s the customers who are being forced to pay.
Renee: “What do you think they should do?”
Morris: “I think they should eat the cost, it wasn’t my mom’s fault, it’s their fault.”
We asked utility spokesperson Kesshia Davis what the gas company is doing to help customers like Morris’s mom.
“Each customer rep is working with each customer who has been impacted by the situation, so one customer may get a payment plan of 2 to 3 months, others might get a plan of 4 to 5 months. It’s on a case by case basis,” Davis said.
But why is the company not taking responsibility for its employees actions that left customers with huge bills?
“I am not aware of any situation where we are letting the gas bills go. From my knowledge the gas was used unfortunately they were not billed for that so that’s why we were offering payment arrangements,” Davis said.
That explanation does nothing to satisfy customers like Morris’s mother.
Davis said the inaccurate bills cover a three month period.